J.K. Rowling Admits She Was Suicidal

03/24/2008 at 09:00 AM EDT

J.K. Rowling Admits She Was Suicidal
J.K. Rowling
MJ Kim/Getty
Though she has made no secret of how her life had sunk before her immense success with the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling has never before detailed that despondent period of her life.

That now has changed, with the author, 42, opening up to an Edinburgh University student magazine, the BBC and British newspapers report.

Rowling also admits that she contemplated taking her own life back in the early 1990s, after separating from her first husband, Portuguese journalist Jorge Arantes.

"We're talking suicidal thoughts here, we're not talking 'I'm a little bit miserable,' " Rowling told student Adeel Amini, 22.

"Mid-twenties life circumstances were poor and I really plummeted," Rowling said, recalling friends had to help her pay the security deposit for her apartment rental – where she would eventually begin writing about the boy wizard, which would spawn a $14 billion industry.

"The thing that made me go for help was probably my daughter," said Rowling, referring to the then-infant, Jessica, reports the Telegraph. "She was something that earthed me, grounded me, and I thought, this isn't right, this can't be right, she cannot grow up with me in this state.”

'Get Out' of Depression

Through a circuitous route – her regular doctor was away at the time of her crisis – Rowling eventually met with a therapist, who helped her "get out" of the depression.

"The funny thing is, I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never," she says. "I think I'm abnormally shameless on that account because what's to be ashamed of?"

Seeking to remove any stigma that might be attached to seeking counseling, Rowing now advises all those suffering from depression to "go and get help."

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