‘I woke up with a hangover aged 7’: Cara Delevingne details how her alcohol abuse, mental health issues and self harm began during childhood
- READ MORE: Cara Delevingne reveals she checked into rehab when ‘heartbreaking’ images of her erratic behaviour gave her a reality check
Cara Delevingne has revealed her issues with substance abuse started when she was a child, culminating in her breakdown aged 15.
Speaking to Vogue magazine the 30-year-old model confessed that she first got drunk aged seven, recalling: ‘I woke up in my granny’s house in my bedroom with a hangover, in a bridesmaid’s dress. I’d gone around nailing glasses of Champagne.’
Three years later she was prescribed sleeping pills at only 10 years old in a bid to manage her insomnia and as a teenager she was diagnosed with dyspraxia, a neurological condition affecting physical co-ordination.
It was this Cara states that began her mental health issues and self-harm, revealing she tried art therapy, music therapy, EMDR and CBT in a bid to manage it.
Aged 15, Cara had a mental breakdown, previously explaining it was a result of ‘everything I hadn’t dealt with bubbled up to the surface.’
Family: Cara Delevingne has revealed her issues with substance abuse started when she was a child (pictured in 2002 with mum Pandora, sisters Chloe and Poppy and dad Charles)
Probing deeper into the troubled time, she said: ‘I was on medication and it just…it saved my life. This wasn’t a chemical imbalance as much as it was a full trauma response.
‘I hadn’t uncovered the f***ing hole inside, the real whirlpool within. And I still think there’s a part of diagnosis and labeling that is damaging. There were so many times that I was encouraged to take this or be put on that.’
The model-turned-actress admitted that she would self harm by hitting her head against a tree ‘to try and knock myself out’.
She described how she would scratch herself, was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs and – at her lowest point – contemplated taking her own life.
Cara witnessed trauma growing up, with her mother Pandora struggling with heroin addiction.
At times Pandora, the daughter of Sir Jocelyn Stevens, the publishing magnate, and Jane Sheffield, Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting, even moved out of the family home to try to shield the children from seeing her.
Pandora said recently: ‘You’re an addictive person or you’re not. I am. I’m paranoid the girls might drink too much or take too many drugs — understandably, I think. I do talk to them about it. They say, ‘I’m OK, Mum’ or, ‘I’m this or I’m that’, but they’re not addicts.’
The effect of this instability on Cara was severe. She previously said: ‘I was a nurturing child and wanted to make sure everyone was OK. It didn’t feel wrong. But looking back, I’m like, “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have been put in that position.”‘
Candid: The 30-year-old model confessed that she first got drunk aged seven, recalling, ‘I woke up in my granny’s house in my bedroom with a hangover, in a bridesmaid’s dress’
An escape came via Sarah Doukas of Storm modelling agency — her daughter and Cara were best friends and she suggested Cara, a boarder at Bedales, try out in front of the camera.
Although she actually wanted to become an actress or rock drummer, she was almost instantly sensationally successful.
In 2012, Cara became fashion’s new It girl. Aged 20, with her distinctive bushy brows and quirky personality, she was a stand-out star.
Yet later she confessed: ‘A few years in, I realised modelling wasn’t good for me physically or emotionally and I’d have to try different things.’
Later she added: ‘Money is not everything. You get to the point where you are like, ‘Oh, I’ve made money, but I’m so deeply unhappy and alone.’ ‘
For help with alcohol issues in the UK please contact Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) on 0800 9177 650. For issues with drug use talk to FRANK on 0300 123 6600.
If you need help with drug or alcohol issues in the US contact The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Childhood trauma: Cara witnessed trauma growing up, with her mother Pandora struggling with heroin addiction (pictured in 2014)
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