Denise Welch has opened up about her struggle with depression and revealed how her road to recovery has been made easier by quitting alcohol and drugs.
The popular Loose Women panellist admitted that she first suffered from postpartum psychosis and clinical depression following the birth of her son, Matty, 28 years ago.
Talking to Happiful Magazine she said: 'I remember sitting on the settee and blackness starting from my feet, working up my body, and I was immediately in a thick, black suicidal depression.
'It's the most frightening thing that's ever happened to me in my life.'
The 59-year old TV personality explained how she felt nothing: 'Depression depresses every thing in you. At its blackest, you are void of feeling.'
Denise with her sons Louis and Matty in 2015
Top image: Happiful magazine
Denise admitted that her depression is the reason why her son Matty - lead singer of The 1975 - called one of his songs She Lays Down, 'because I told him I used to lie down next to him as a baby and pray that something would happen to make me love him. Depression robbed me of the ability to love.'
The former Coronation Street star revealed that she would find her work schedule incredibly challenging, but felt as though she couldn't request time off for depression and ended up 'self-medicating' to get through the work.
Speaking about her struggle with alcohol, she says: 'I don't miss anything about alcohol. I never ever want to have another drink. I feel so much better, mentally and physically, entering my sixtieth year than I did my fortieth and my fiftieth.'
The mum-of-two added: 'My mental health is a million times better.'
She revealed that she's learned to live with depression, and that it's like a very unwelcome guest who she has got better at tolerating because she knows the guest will leave in a short space of time.
However, she did go on to say: 'I still get episodes of depression, but they are shorter and less intense because I'm not compounding them with alcohol.'