As she prepares to turn 60 next month, Denise Welch has revealed to Happiful Magazine both her pride and regrets over her public battle with depression
Speaking to the only magazine devoted to mental health, the Geordie actress penned a letter to her 16-year-old self where she reflected on a journey which first saw her self-medicate her illness using both drink and drugs.
Denise’s clinical depression first manifested itself 29 years ago, following the birth of her eldest son, Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975. The former Coronation Street star claimed depression “robbed her of the ability to love”.
However, the former Loose Women favourite has never shied away from championing positive mental health, and wrote how she would “experience more lows than many people” but that she would equally “enjoy more highs”.
Denise wrote: “I wish I could prevent the depression that will descend after childbirth. But you must realise that this is an illness like any other. Be as kind to yourself as possible. Take time off work – they’ll survive without you.”
“Don’t self medicate. It will take you down a very long, dark road and it’s very hard to find your way home.”
She continued: “Your ‘unwelcome visitor’ will continue to make uninvited calls, but he will always leave and your life in between will be happy, fulfilling, rewarding and most of all, full of love.
“You’re a tough cookie, and I’m proud of who you are now and who you will become.”
Reflecting on her love life, she expressed her pride at having found “the greatest love of all” in her 50s, artist Lincoln Townley who she married in 2013.
Denise says her marriage has proved strong and that they have worked through alcohol issues together - both having successfully ditched the booze from their lives.
She wrote: “Don’t worry about not finding love again… You will find the greatest love of all in your 50s.
“You probably think that’s a bit gross at 16, but believe me, it’s a love like no other. And he’ll be a young’un! Together you will be strong and defeat your demons as one.”
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