London: JK Rowling has admitted that she sought therapy to help cope with the pressures of living in the public eye after the success of Harry Potter.
The Harry Potter phenomenon transformed her from an impoverished single mother into one of the world’s richest authors, and now Rowling has admitted to struggling to come to terms with her sudden success, which she found “incredibly disorienting”.
The author, who has sold more than 450 million books since publishing her first Harry Potter book 15 years ago, said that she had turned to therapy while feeling at “rock bottom” when writing her first book in Edinburgh, where she was living in a bedsit with her young daughter and surviving on benefits.
“And I had to do it again when my life was changing so suddenly - and it really helped,” the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
“I’m a big fan of it, it helped me a lot.
“For a few years I did feel I was on a psychic treadmill, trying to keep up with where I was. Everything changed so rapidly, so strangely. I knew no one who’d ever been in the public eye. I didn’t know anyone - anyone - to whom I could turn and say, “what do you do?”, so it was incredibly disorienting.”
The author said that she had resorted to wearing a disguise while shopping for a wedding dress to escape the attentions of by fans.
Rowling, whose fortune is estimated at 560 million pounds and who has given away more than 100 million pounds to charity, said that she had also struggled with the huge number of demands to help others financially.
“You don’t expect the pressure of it, in the sense of being bombarded by requests,” she said.
“I felt I had to solve everyone’s problems. I was hit by this tsunami of demands. I felt overwhelmed,” she added.
First Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012, 16:26