Countryfile star Julia Bradbury has opened up about her battle with depression, revealing the help she received from a psychologist when times got hard.
Julia is known for her presenting skills on rural shows like Countryfile and Britain’s Best Walks, but away from the public eye the 46 year old has been diagnosed with depression.
The TV star opened up to the Mirror about how when things became difficult in both her work and personal life, her mental health began to suffer. Revealing that difficulties in her relationship contributed to feeling down, Julia ended up turning to counselling.
The ITV presenter said, ‘Things came to a head. I was dealing with a stressful work relationship.
‘There was a battle of wills going on and a romantic relationship that wasn’t going very well. Also I had been diagnosed with endometriosis, which affected my moods. It all got on top of me.’
Julia experienced feelings of depression back in her 30s, but has now chosen to speak out about the importance of recognising mental illness and seeking help. After seeking IVF treatment, Julia is now a mum of three and feels in a much better place in her life.
The star hopes that by opening up about her experiences, she can encourage others to do the same and seek help through therapy.
‘Everyone has bad times. My own experience with depression was serious enough for me to go to my doctor and ask for a referral. I went to see a psychologist for a few months and he was really good. It did help to talk to someone neutral.
‘Sometimes you want to talk to someone outside your family who isn’t even a friend because you don’t want to be judged.
‘I was still functioning but the counselling gave me support. It got me back on track.’
As well as seeing a counsellor, Julia believes that exercise can be a huge help to promote a healthy, happy mindset.
She said, ‘Exercise is important to clear the mind and walking is right up there. It is such a tonic, I call it mental wealth. It really helps.
‘I definitely wouldn’t call myself an exercise freak. I don’t spend all my time in the gym – I’m quite lazy. I just try to build it into my life.
It’s worth making the time. It keeps us healthier for longer. And I have three young children so I need to be strong – there’s a lot of lugging around.’