Frank Bruno, the former world heavyweight champion, described yesterday the anger, loneliness and confusion he experienced as he descended into manic depression.

Bruno, 41, told how his life was governed by increasingly obsessive and erratic behaviour before he was taken to hospital in September and diagnosed with depressive illnesses.

Despite pleas of friends and family to seek help, he remained in denial as his depression manifested itself in his unexpectedly "crazy" actions.

"People kept telling me I needed help and I was outraged, insulted", he told The Sun. "I was terribly lonely and confused, I was too proud to admit I couldn't cope, too proud to ask for help, too scared of what it might mean. I felt I had to be a hero." He admitted that his behaviour became increasingly erratic in the aftermath of his divorce from Laura two years ago. "I spent many thousands of pounds on things I didn't want or need, but I was obsessed with buying stuff - everything had to be in pairs," he said. That included everything from cars to clothes. But I bought caravans, lorries, tents, old people's chairs, crazy stuff."

Bruno reached crisis point in September when he was taken by paramedics from his home in Essex to hospital, where he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and diagnosed with manic depression. Speaking two weeks after his release from hospital, he added: "In a way it was a relief. I had been struggling for so long and suddenly I didn't have to any more. I am never going back."