British actor Paddy Considine has spoken of his relief after he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome last year (10) - at the age of 36.
The Bourne Ultimatum star admits he struggled for years to get by with the condition, characterised by communication and social difficulties, which left him feeling a "debilitating sense of detachment" from his peers and even affected his acting.
He tells Britain's Sunday Telegraph, "I got through with my ability to mimic others and make people laugh. I swaggered through life but, in reality, I lived in fear pretty much every day. I acted like a completely normal person, and I suppose I was good at it. But, inside, it was a very different story...
"Basic interaction with people - the touch of strangers - becomes a problem. My response is to retreat into myself. With a script, I just can't get past the words. They start to float in front of my eyes and I can't pull them down or animate them. It can lead to me giving a very withdrawn performance."
Considine sought the help of a specialist last year (10) and he insists the diagnosis has helped him learn to cope.
He adds, "For a few weeks after the diagnosis, I was wandering around thinking, 'Who the hell am I?' But naming my problem has helped me a lot. It's allowed me to make sense of so many things I didn't understand before - and is allowing me to move forward with my life."