Denise on her emotional journey with depression: 'You can survive it and you can make the most of your life'

Denise Welch spoke openly and honestly about her 31 year journey with depression in her most important Loose Women interview ever.

Joining friends Ruth, Stacey, Nadia and Brenda from her home, Denise explained how her "unwelcome visitor" (as she calls it) first arrived after the birth of her eldest son, Matty, and went on to have a crippling effect on her life.

She recalled some painfully dark moments of her mental health journey, including the realisation that post-natal depression meant she couldn't feel love for the baby she had longed for. "I couldn’t love my child and that does upset me," she said, choking back tears during the emotional chat.

"What depression does, it depresses every single emotion," Denise told the panel. "So it's not striving for happiness, it's striving for normalcy. It's striving for the ability to be happy, to be sad, to care, to feel jealous, to feel anger, because with depression you feel nothing."

She explained how she had "survived" with the support of her family, who told her "you will get better" and stressed that others should not give up hope. "The unwelcome visitor will always leave and you get used to tolerating him more," she said.

Watch Denise's powerful interview in the video above and watch the Loose Women's discussion about supporting family members - including Ruth's very personal experience of supporting her sister - on the ITV Hub.

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised you can find more information about the supports available via our Lighten The Load campaign or mental health helplines.

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