Hugh Laurie Battling ‘Mild Depression’

10/30/2007 at 12:00 AM EDT

Hugh Laurie Battling ‘Mild Depression’
Photo: Art Streiber/FOX

Hugh Laurie, who is back in L.A. after an unscheduled leave from House to visit his family in England, has admitted the job takes a toll on his family.

Laurie, 48, returned to work Monday after heading to the U.K. last week, the New York Post reports.

The specific reason for the trip was not disclosed, but in an interview with Australia's Sydney Daily Telegraph, Laurie admits he is "drained" after several years of working on the Fox medical drama and suffers from a "mild depression."

"It wasn't a massive move when I first considered doing House," he says. "What usually happens is, you do a pilot, and of the very few picked up, only about a quarter go to a second year. So I thought, I'll have three fun weeks. I never dreamed I'd be here three and a half years later." He adds: "I do go back and forth as much as possible, as do my wife and kids." (Laurie and his wife, Jo, have a daughter, Rebecca, and two sons, Bill and Charlie.)

The Golden Globe-winning actor says he visits a therapist periodically to deal with the depression. He adds that he often has a hard time relaxing in his off hours.

"I can't switch off," he says. "I'm always thinking about the show. I'm too neurotic and anal and too convinced we're going to fail to relax."

Despite the show's critical acclaim, Laurie says he is extremely self-critical.

"Every show we do is a disaster, I'm convinced of it," he says. "I go home and my head is full of all the mistakes I've made." –Tim NuddPhoto: Art Streiber/FOX

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