Frankie Bridge has spoken out about suffering a mental breakdown at the peak of her musical career, which lead to a stay in a psychiatric hospital.
The Saturdays singer, 31, opened up about the incident in her new book Open: Why Asking For Help Can Save Your Life.
Bridge, who has previously discussed her experiences with severe depression, recalled how she went straight to hospital after filming the video for The Saturdays’ single My Heart Takes Over in Iceland in 2011.
She stayed there for one month but was then discharged due to work commitments with her band.
“For as long as I can remember I had suffered from anxiety, nervousness, the big black cloud, stress, low moods, sadness,” she said.
“I lived with it in silence and tried to conquer it alone… In my late teens and early 20s I’d had medical help of various kinds (in the six months before I was hospitalised, I’d seen two therapists and tried three different antidepressants - Prozac, venlafaxine and sertaline - but nothing had worked for long.”
She had been suffering with “uncontrollable panic attacks and paralysing negative thoughts about anything and everything” and “couldn’t go anything without help and was unable to function in everyday life.”
She added: “Fundamentally, I couldn’t see the point of living any more.”
On the advice of her psychiatrist, she was admitted to hospital where she was prescribed new medication.
Frankie praised her footballer husband Wayne for supporting her during this difficult time.
“He was my constant, the person who knew me inside out and seen me at my worst and most vulnerable,” she said. “He made me feel safe and loved. I couldn’t have done it with anyone else.”
The singer said that she hopes her story will encourage others in similar situations to “speak out and ask for help.”
“No matter how low I feel, I know I won’t ever be as low as I was when I went into hospital because I managed to speak out and ask for help,” she wrote.
For confidential support, call Samaritans on 116 123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org