Popular presenter Fearne Cotton has revealed she struggled with depression
But Fearne Cotton has spoken openly for the first time about her secret battle with depression.
The popular presenter, seen by millions as bubbly and carefree, revealed a very different reality behind her upbeat persona.
Speaking candidly, the 35-year-old former Top of The Pops presenter told how she was forced to turn to anti-depressants in a bid to help her cope with her “black feelings”.
Launching a new book entitled Happy, she said she began noticing the dark symptoms a few years ago when working early mornings as a Radio 1 DJ.
She explained: “I had a real lack of energy. I felt so drained and my lust for everything that I love wasn’t there any more.
“Everything was a drag and felt heavy. I felt anti-social, cut-off, alienated and they were massive warning signs. Everyone has that lightbulb moment that they need to do something differently, but for me it was feeling stuck.”
Common mental health disorders
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Common mental health disorders from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.
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Stress – Feeling under mental or emotional pressure can lead to sleeping problems, a loss of appetite or difficulty concentrating
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The former Top of The Pops presenter is married to Jesse Wood
Realising she could not go on as she was, she decided to seek help, booking an appointment with her GP who diagnosed her with depression and prescribed a course of anti-depressant tablets.
I felt anti-social, cut-off, alienated and they were massive warning signs
And she revealed that the diagnosis itself came as something of a relief.
She explained: “It was definitely a relief when the doctor identified what was happening to me. It took it away from being my fault.
“I was prescribed anti-depressants. I decided it would get my head above the clouds for a moment. I’d never taken them before so it felt like it be worth a go.”
She said she began noticing dark symptoms a few years ago
The mother-of-two, who is married to Jesse Wood, the 40-year-old son of Rolling Stone legend Ronnie Wood, said she only took the tablets for a little while but that they helped her in the short-term.
But long-term, she said it was important to make small changes in her life including “letting go of perfect”.
And with the support of her husband and friends, including fellow presenter Holly Willoughby, she had gone on to enjoy a lasting recovery.
She said: “Letting go of ‘perfect’ was important. I was trying to do so many things and putting so much pressure on myself – and why?
“Perfect doesn’t exist. I cut back a lot on work, and focused a lot more on family.”
But she warned that people should seek help when they notice the start of symptoms which she only noticed gradually.
She said: “I’m very optimistic by nature, I wake up in the morning and I’m very excited about my day, I’m so pumped and enthusiastic about the smaller things in life and that was dead."
Fearne has recovered with the support of her husband and friends, including Holly Willoughby
And she said penning the new book had also helped her recovery.
She added: “Since writing this book, lots of people opened up to me about being prescribed anti-depressants.
“After a few months, I felt that I was able to start, very slowly coming off them and looking for other options.”