North East actress and broadcaster, Denise Welch, has opened up about her own mental health in the hope that it will encourage other people to seek help.
To coincide with Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (1-7 May) Denise told ITV News Tyne Tees presenter Pam Royle about how her 30 year battle with depression began with the birth of her son, 28-year-old Matthew.
When Denise was filming with Coronation Street, she said she had two nervous breakdowns - both she felt she had to hide. She began what she describes as 'self medicating' using alcohol and drugs.
Five years ago she stopped and she now says she is feeling better than ever.
Denise still has clinical depression but says that now she feels more in control.
Signs you could be depressed according to the National Institute of Mental Health:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Thoughts of suicide
If you are concerned about your own mental health, or the mental health of someone you know, you can find help here: