Fifi Trixibelle Geldof has spoken openly for the first time about suffering from clinical depression since the age of 11.
The daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, who has kept herself out of the limelight for all of her adult life, said she chose to open up about her depression following the news of Robin Williams’ suicide last month.
The 31-year-old said depression was “nothing to be ashamed of” and told herself she needed to “grow some b******s, come forward and say something".
Speaking publicly for the first time about the severity of her condition, she told the Mail on Sunday that she has been unable to get out of bed, shower or eat at times due to her depression.
“You exist in this gloomy shell of a person. But you learn to deal with it,” she said.
Fifi, who calls herself the ‘unknown Geldof', said her depression was diagnosed during the time of her parent’s acrimonious divorce in 1996 when she was ordered by a court to see a therapist.
Quotes on depression
Quotes on depression
1/14 Alistair Campbell
Alistair Campbell: "One day, we will look back and wonder how on earth we used to believe that depression was a lifestyle choice, only to be debated and taken seriously when an A List film star took his life, and the world filled with people saying how shocked and saddened they were. "
2/14 On living with depression
Stephen Fry: "Depression is as real as the weather…it’s all about a kind of mental umbrella. 'Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage.'"
3/14 On living with depression
Ernest Hemingway: "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." (He also said "happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know")
4/14 On living with depression
Jonathan Davis: "A lot of people don't realize that depression is an illness. I don't wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it."
5/14 On passing judgement on depression
Geoffrey Boycott: "Until you've had depression I don't think you're qualified to talk about it."
6/14 Jack Dee
Jack Dee: "I have had issues with depression all my life, and it's probably true to say there was a tendency towards it even when I was very young, during my schooldays. There was often - and this is quite common with comics - a sense of not feeling as if I belonged anywhere."
7/14 On living with depression
Jason Manford: "The world needs you even if you don't think it does. I promise, we need you here, now."
8/14 Author Jeanette Winterson
Art saved me; it got me through my depression and self-loathing, back to a place of innocence.
9/14 On life and depression
Agatha Christie: "I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know that just to be alive is a grand thing."
10/14 On living with depression
Albert Camus: "In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
11/14 On dealing with low mood
Dolly Parton "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
12/14 If you're feeling depressed right now..
Annabel Giles: "If you’re depressed right now, then let's remember that we only have to do today, that's all. Nothing more. We can do just a day, can't we? And don’t forget, we haven't always been like this. The good days will come back. We've just go to do as much as we can, when we can."
13/14 Helen Keller on looking for the positive
Helen Keller: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
14/14 On it happening to all of us
Mariella Frostrup: "Only those with skin as thick as elephant hide can hope to sail through their teens unscathed by self-doubt and bouts of depression."
She added that her depression and her decision to talk openly about it for the first time has nothing to do with the recent death of her younger sister Peaches earlier this year.
“I’m not going to link depression back to Peaches. It’s nothing to do with Peaches. I can’t, in all honesty, attribute my sadness about my sister’s death to depression,” she said.
Despite suffering from the illness for most of her life, Fifi said she has never told her father about her depression.
She also revealed she has never taken any medication for her condition, other than self-medicating on drugs and alcohol in her late teens.
“I’ve never taken antidepressants but who am I to say no one else should? People should try and treat their depression however they deem fit. Some people won’t want to get to the bottom of it."
She added: “Quite frankly, there is no bottom of it. Depression just exists.”