Denise Welch praised for sharing 'brave' videos documenting depressive episode

'It is a horrible illness, it is cruel'

Sarah Young
Monday 30 September 2019 15:06
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Denise Welch opens up about her depression

Denise Welch has been praised online after filming herself experiencing a depressive episode.

On Sunday, the Loose Women presenter posted a series of videos to Twitter in an attempt to explain depression “to those who are fortunate enough not to suffer".

Addressing her Twitter followers, the 61-year-old said she felt compelled to “share the bad times” as someone who professes to be a mental health advocate.

“Depression depresses every single emotion that you have so that there is a flatness and a void there,” Welch said.

“This started yesterday with feelings of slight unreality, the atmosphere around me starts to change and the way I describe it is that the colour goes out of my life.

“People that I’m around that I love being with, I don’t want to be around. Things that I’m looking forward to, I don’t want to be part of.”

The former Coronation Street actor went on to explain how she refers to depressive episodes as “the unwelcome visitor”.

“He, or she, can find you anywhere,” Welch said. “I have to wait for him to go and I just have to do the best that I can.”

Since posting, Welch’s first video has garnered more than 16,000 likes and received thousands of comments from social media users praising her for being “brave” and “honest”.

“Well done for increasing understanding,” one person wrote alongside a series of heart emojis.

Another added: “I admire your honesty and bravery so much. I hope you realise how much sharing videos like this helps so many by reminding them they are not alone with their struggles.”

A third person wrote: “Well done Denise, must have been the last thing you felt like doing but I bet you have helped a lot of people with this video.”

On Monday, the actor posted a follow-up video alongside the caption: "Today is a better day. No swirls. He's leaving I hope."

Welch told her followers that she thought the “unwelcome visitor” was “on his way out” and that she felt “overwhelmed” by the positive response to the videos.

"The fact that the video resonates with so many people…it is a horrible illness, it is cruel, it is isolating, it is invisible, but it can be terminal," Welch said.

"That is why it is very, very important for me to use the slight platform that I have to talk out."

Simon Blake, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid England, told the BBC that Welch's videos helped to bring the topic of depression “into the open”.

"We often see Denise as a smiley, cheery person and it breaks the stigma about what a person with depression looks like."

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Blake added that the reaction to the videos showed that social media could used as “a force for good”.

For confidential support with mental health or suicidal feelings, you can contact The Samaritans on their free, 24-hour phone support by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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