- Film And TV
- 10 Dec 18
The TV presenter has revealed her mental health struggles began the day after she won Strictly Come Dancing.
Caroline Flack is the latest celebrity to join a campaign in which Hot Press has had a major involvement during 2018, via the Now We’re Talking Town Hall event with Lyons Tea and Pieta House, and the 100 Voices on Mental Health publication, 30,000 of which were distributed in colleges all over Ireland.
The celebrity presenter has opened up to The Sun about her experiences with mental health after winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 and the shame she felt while suffering in silence.
“I felt ridiculous, being so sad when I'd just won the biggest show on telly and had such an amazing job. However, I felt like I was being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time," she said.
She went on to reveal that she was prescribed anti-depressants to help her cope but chose not to tell her family or friends due to the by the stigma that continues to surround depression and mental health issues.
“I didn’t want to be a burden. It was a really lonely place”
“I remember being at the photoshoot for my book cover and having to sit down because I was so dizzy. I couldn’t tell anyone the reason, that I was coming off anti-depressants.I was embarrassed about everything, what had happened, how I felt and just embarrassed about who I was. You would tell people if you have taken Nurofen or Lemsip, but not anti-depressants”.
“I used to go to the chemist to collect my prescription on a Sunday, thinking the pharmacist had probably seen me on telly the night before.”
Flack has also said the relentless criticism of her and co-host Olly Murs when they took over X-Factor in 2015 contributed to her depression, while Graham Norton’s joke at the BAFTAs [that there was more chance of Anne Boylen returning to Wolf Hall than Flack to the XFactor] was her “lowest point”.
“As much as I would put on a happy face, backstage I’d be in tears with my make-up artist,” she revealed.
The stigma surrounding mental health problems is unfortunately all too prevalent and often prevents people from asking for help. Caroline is one of a number of celebrities who have recently opened up about their experiences in the hope that it will open up the discussion and encourage those suffering to seek help.
Similarly, Hot Press’ Now We’re Talking 100 Voices feature earlier this year saw a 100 strong chorus of artists from around the country open up about their experience of mental health, highlighting the need for real and honest conversations about mental health and the experiences of those suffering.
“One of the key objectives of the Now We’re Talking campaign, which we worked on with Lyons Tea, was to help to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. “So it is really heartening to hear someone like Caroline Flack talk about it so openly and honestly. There is no one-size-fits-all solution if people are feeling vulnerable or depressed, but what is certain is that feeling isolated and alone, with dark clouds descending, does no one any good. Which is why it is so important for people to understand: there really is nothing to be ashamed of. Talking to your family, your friends or your loved ones without embarrassment can lift the burden, and make a huge difference."
If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health problems a number of organizations are available to offer support and advice:
Pieta House: https://www.pieta.ie/
Mental Health Ireland: https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/