Ruth Davidson rules out becoming next Conservative leader for sake of relationship

Desiree Burns
September 16, 2018

Ruth Davidson uncovered her self-harming scars as the Scottish Conservative leader said she values her mental health too much to be Prime Minister.

In an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine, she revealed her battle with self-harm, suicidal thoughts and depression as a teenager.

Ruling out an attempt to succeed Theresa May, Davidson said: "You have to want it, and I don't want to be prime minister".

Ms Davidson, who is expecting her first child with her girlfriend Jen Wilson, has had a remarkable run of election victories in recent years culminating in the conservatives winning 13 Westminster seats north of the border last year.

'I value my relationship and my mental health too much for it'.

But she explicitly ruled out such a move and dismissed claims she could take a peerage or move south and become an MP as "bollocks".

Ms Davidson's personal popularity and electoral success has seen her frequently tipped as a future leader of the United Kingdom party.

She added: 'I will not be a candidate'.

The 39-year-old also said that she would not consider running for the leadership as she is pregnant, and said the idea of being away from her child for four days a week is "offensive".

Ms Davidson reveals that she was diagnosed with clinical depression at 18.

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She told the paper that she suffered from suicidal thoughts and depression in her youth.

Of the incident, she said: "I went into a total tailspin".

And she said returning to church and "throwing away my pills" helped her mental well-being.

"I would sometimes find myself nearly outside my own body, mocking myself for saying stupid things in a conversation or situation".

"The more people in public life who show that it is possible to have, or to have had mental health problems, and to take on big challenges, the better", he said.

At 18 she was diagnosed with clinical depression, but her medication gave her "desperate, dark, bad dreams" where she "couldn't tell what was real".

By her second year at university Davidson "became so afraid of sleep that I spent a whole term living nocturnally".

She said her depression "was like a smothering black blanket over my head, cutting out the sky".

"When I have periods of heightened anxiety, or I can feel the weight of the black blanket start to descend, I go back to what I know works for me: structure, exercise, forward momentum, measurable outcomes. Sometime's that's hard in a job that's 100 miles an hour".

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