Hammond ‘battles with depression’

Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has spoken of suffering “mortally with depression” since his near-fatal crash in 2006. “I damaged all the complicated bits of the brain to do with processing and emotional control,” he was quoted as saying in The Sunday Times.

A damaged tyre caused his dragster to crash while he was driving at speeds of up to 288mph at an airfield near York.

He was airlifted to hospital and treated for swelling to the brain.

Richard Hammond's crash

Richard Hammond was driving a jet-powered dragster

He spent just weeks in hospital instead of 15 months, as doctors had predicted.

He told the newspaper that afterwards, he was “prey to every single emotion that swept over me and I couldn’t deal with it”.

“I had to relearn things from scratch,” he said.

“I’ll still have a week when I’m freaking out about something and I’ll realise it’s because I’m encountering a new emotional state and I have to evolve a new strategy to cope with it.”

‘Trouble parking’

The article said he still “talks regularly with his psychiatrist”.

Hammond also said he had damaged the part of his brain “to do with spatial awareness”.

This affected his ability to park and also his memory, he said.

“My memory is a lot better but the other day I forgot the Pin numbers to all my cards. All of them. Completely gone.”

Hammond said in December 2006 that the two weeks after he was in the crash are a blank.

Although he told The Sunday Times he returned to BBC Two’s Top Gear “too early”, he said: “I thought the worst thing I could do was stay at home and continue feeling like a patient.”

His “long journey” of recovery was still going on and his brain was “as mended as it’s likely to be”, he said.

“Now it seems to be more a case of rewiring itself,” he added