Simon Cowell on therapy: 'Should've started 10-20 years ago'

Amidst global upheaval, Cowell confronts personal pandemic fears

by Zain ul Abedin
Simon Cowell on therapy: 'Should've started 10-20 years ago'
© Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment

At 63, Simon Cowell, renowned as the brains behind "America's Got Talent," expressed his remorse over delaying his venture into mental health therapy. On The Mirror's Men in Mind podcast, a joint endeavor with mental health organization Mind, Cowell reflected on how the pandemic triggered his emotional downturn, calling it "the real catalyst" behind his depression.

He said, “I’ve battled depression throughout my life. I once believed it was just a facet of my personality, something I'd come to terms with”. But, Cowell emphasized the relief therapy brought him, noting, "It feels like a huge weight has been taken off me.

I only wish I had begun this healing process a decade or two earlier." Acknowledging the transformative impact of therapy, Cowell took proactive measures in his professional life, instructing his team to cease sharing television ratings for his most successful shows.

This step, he revealed, was to counteract his prior excessive fixation on them.

Cowell's Rising Anxiety Amid COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic intensified Cowell's anxieties, with the music tycoon candidly sharing the profound concern he felt for himself and his loved ones, especially after witnessing close friends become severely ill due to the virus.

The continual influx of news did little to ease his worries. He confessed, “The barrage of information left me overwhelmed, making it challenging to discern fact from fiction. The mere thought of contracting the virus terrified me”.

While Cowell did contract the virus during this tumultuous period, his symptoms were thankfully mild. This phase of uncertainty and introspection, however, proved to be a turning point. As the world adapted to the 'new normal', he began exploring ways to bolster his mental health.

Speaking to The Mirror, Cowell mentioned, "This time has provided a rare opportunity for introspection. As we gradually transition back into everyday life, I've become increasingly conscious of the mental health discourse." Always an inquisitive individual, Cowell dove deep into understanding mental health better, inspired by friends who vouched for the benefits of counseling.

He mused, "I've dedicated years to maintaining my physique through diet and exercise, but what efforts have I made for my mind?" Realizing that the answer was 'none,' he likened his newfound focus on mental health to his brain getting its much-needed workout at the gym.

Simon Cowell