Jon Hamm Opens Up About Depression Struggle

Actor Jon Hamm arrives to the Season 4 premiere of AMC's "Mad Men" on July 20, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Actor Jon Hamm arrives to the Season 4 premiere of AMC's "Mad Men" on July 20, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

NEW YORK (CBS) "Mad Men" actor Jon Hamm is opening up about his struggle with chronic depression, and how therapy and antidepressants helped him.

Hamm explained that he was hit hard, at age 20, by the death of his father.

Pictures: Jon Hamm

"I was ... unmoored by that," he told the Britain's Observer magazine. "I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape."

Hamm had lived with his father since he was 10, when his mother died of stomach cancer. His parents divorced when he was a toddler.

At the time of his father's death, Hamm, who is currently starring in the Ben Affleck-directed film "The Town," was a student at the University of Texas, and he credits work and the people around him for helping him recover.

"I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment and ... continue," he said.

He added that he was "was very fortunate to have really good friends in my life whose parents sort of rallied: 'We're gonna help this kid out, because otherwise there's going to be trouble...'"

Antidepressants and therapy also helped, he told the magazine.

"I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me," he said. "Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bulls---. It helps.

"And honestly? Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: 'I want to get up in the morning; I don't want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my shit and go to work and...' Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!"