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Andrea McLean opens up about her breakdown and overcoming financial difficulties

Andrea McLean is usually right at.home in the Loose Women hot seat but she took herself to the other side of the virtual desk to open up about her breakdown, mental health and overcoming financial difficulties.

Speaking to Ruth, Coleen, Janet and Saira, Andrea explained how her experience on SAS: Who Dares Wins marked the beginning of a mental health journey, during which she briefly considered taking her own life.

"There's a moment when you have a black cotton bag put over your head and you're marched along and you're interrogated," she explained, "and there was a moment where this bag was ripped off my head and it was as if this mask that we all put on, the mask of being a wife a mum, a professional person was ripped off and that's what happened at this time."

"What I was going through when I came back was some really traumatic things that have happened to me in my life, I had moved on and I had put them behind me and I had done what many many women out there do: I put them in a box, buried them in the garden and put a tree on top of it and put a swing on the tree," she continued.

Andrea explained how she'd also found herself in financial difficulty and opened up about the sense of shame she'd felt about it.

"But I thought I cannot write a book about piecing your life back together, you cannot write a book telling women to overcome things without literally laying it all out on the table and one of those things was I took my eye off the ball financially when my head was in a bad space."

"It's something I think a lot of people who have been through the experience that I have will understand, just how difficult it is," she said.

Watch Andrea's powerful chat in the video above and catch the full episode on the ITV Hub.

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised you can use these helplines.

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Weekdays 12.30pm