Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams has opened up about how she struggles with feelings of self-hate.

The 22-year-old actress rose to worldwide fame at the age of 14 when she began playing the role of Arya Stark in the hit HBO fantasy series.

She has now said it has been "impossible to turn a blind eye" to negative comments on social media since she became famous.

Speaking on Fearne Cotton's Happy Place podcast, she said of social media: "It got to me a lot because there's just a constant feed in your back pocket of what people think of you.

"It's impossible to turn a blind eye. When people are on social media they feel like whatever they write, no-one's gonna see it, no one's gonna read it but they do and it will affect them for a really long time."

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She added: "When I do feel myself going down a rabbit hole, it gets to a point where you're almost craving something negative so you can sit in a hole of sadness.

"It's really bizarre the way that it starts to consume you."

Williams also told Cotton she went through a phase of feeling she hated herself.

"It's something I'm really trying to break free from at the moment," she said. "I went through a huge period of my life where I'd tell myself every day that I hated myself.

"It got to a point where I'd be in a conversation with my friends and my mind would running and running, and I'd be thinking about all the stupid things I've said in my life and it would just race and race.

"We'd be talking and I'd be like 'I hate myself'. "And it got so bad. We can all relate to that, telling ourselves awful things."

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

Williams added: "When I starting digging in and figuring out why I said those things, actually it was nothing to do with myself.

"So many of these problems are really linked to things in your past, as soon as you start digging and start asking yourself bigger questions than: Why do I hate myself? It's more: Why do you make yourself feel this way?"

Williams said she is "still definitely really struggling to let sadness wash over me without it consuming me".

"There was a period of time that I was really sad and then I sort of came out of that," she said.

"It's now really terrifying that you're ever gonna slip back into it and I think that's something that I'm really working on."

Read Sinead Brennan's review of the penultimate episode of the final season of Game of Thrones here