Helen Flanagan opens up on "very scary" psychotic episode after split from ex Celtic star Scott Sinclair

Former Celtic WAG Helen Flanagan has courageously revealed her struggle with a devastating breakdown that she feared would take away everything she cherished.

The former Coronation Street actress, 33, faced an emotional battle after parting ways with her former Celtic star fiance Scott Sinclair after 13 years together and last year spiralled into a "very scary" psychotic episode.

Her ordeal began after what seemed like an idyllic New Year's holiday in Bali with their children Matilda, eight, Delilah, five, and Charlie, three. Despite the cheerful photos she shared, Helen confessed she was in distress, in an exclusive Mirror interview here.

In an exclusive interview with the Mirror, Helen said: "My kids weren't with me on Christmas Day because I like to be really fair with my ex, and it sounds so silly because it was only one day, but it hit me really hard."

"The plan was for me to take them to Bali for New Year instead, and although I enjoyed it, I didn't feel myself. I was struggling. I felt terrible when I got back. I was crying all the time, I felt so low."

Helen, who appeared on I'm A Celebrity in 2012, seemed the epitome of joy as she posed with her children during the photoshoot but became emotional during the interview.

She said she now realises she was carrying unresolved trauma over the 2022 split with Scott, 35.

Helen Flanagan and her kids
Helen shares her three kids with her ex fiancé Scott Sinclair -Credit:Instagram

Speaking out ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, Helen said: "I don't see it as a break-up, I see it as a divorce. We were together 13 years. But instead of processing it all, I threw myself into work and shut off my emotions. I just went into survival mode."

"It was really sad and very scary. I was seeing things and I felt like I was in danger all the time.

"Then it all came to the surface earlier this year and I was mentally and physically breaking down."

Struggling to feel "normal", she started medicating her ADHD but suffered an "awful reaction" to her prescription and went into a psychotic episode. Tearful Helen said: "It was really sad and very scary. I was seeing things and I felt like I was in danger all the time."

She said that the hardest part was not realising what was happening at the time. Her nanny contacted her parents, Julia and Paul, to alert them that something was wrong and Helen agreed for her kids to stay with them while she got help.

Helen Flanagan and Scott Sinclair are thought to have split last year
Helen Flanagan and Scott Sinclair were together for 13 years -Credit:Helen Flanagan Instagram

Acknowledging the tough decision, Helen said, "I wanted to do what was best for the kids and that was the right decision. I saw them every day because it was important for them to see me getting stronger."

She had to step back from playing Miss Scarlett in the theatre tour of Cluedo 2, a role that required months on the road.

Helen explains: "I was having a breakdown, I couldn't have travelled alone. I needed my friends and family, and to be there for my kids."

Helen, who played Rosie Webster on Corrie from age nine and featured in over 1,000 episodes until 2018, said that she thought she had ruined her career by leaving Cluedo 2, she said: "I was heartbroken. It was my dream job and I thought I'd ruined my career. But I knew I needed to deal with things so I wouldn't ever get to that place again."

As a part of her healing and recovery, the mum-of-three has rediscovered her love of exercise. She also found tackling long-overdue tasks, such as de-cluttering her home, has cleared her mind and helped ­tackle the trauma.

Her healing journey has morphed into an improved co-parenting dynamic with her ex-partner, Bristol Rovers player Scott. When the children were living with him following their split, she used to flee her home to drink in London.

However, Helen now values this quiet time alone: "Now I really love it. I stay at home, watch TV or do pilates, go for a run or a swim."

She added: "two happy homes are better than one unhappy home," and states that her relationship with Scott is better than ever.

Helen went on to say: "I don't want to live with toxic feelings, I want to get on with the father of my kids and he's the same. When we found each other on a dating app we had a laugh about it, which shows how far we've come."

When asked about her experiences with the dating app, she responded: "I went on a few dates. They were lovely but I don't really like the idea of choosing a partner based on looks. I still believe in love and The One but I think I'll go with the flow. I hadn't been on the dating scene for 13 years so it's like a whole new world."

Helen is determined to set a positive example for her children, stating: "I love my children more than anything but we don't own our kids we bring them up, love them, give them everything, then you have to let them go."

"It's important we don't lose ourselves as mums, that I still have my own identity. I want them to see me as fearless."

Helen recently showcased her fearlessness by modelling lingerie for Ann Summers, despite potential criticism.

She expressed: "Just because we're mums doesn't mean we can't be sexy, right?"

"I love to dress sexy and I've always done lingerie modelling it's empowering. I'm all for women embracing their bodies and feeling good."

"I get a bit stick for it on social media but so what? I'm very much a free spirit and just like to be myself."

While many of her fans would like her to follow in the footsteps of ex-Hollyoaks star Sarah Jayne Dunn and join adult content site OnlyFans, Helen has other plans. Despite acknowledging Sarah Jayne's reported success of over £700,000 from selling her content, Helen stated: "What she's done is amazing."

"But I just don't really fancy it. I don't know why some people have a problem with what other people do, I think each to their own."

Now that Helen is feeling stronger, her focus is on fostering a robust emotional connection with her children for their mental wellbeing.

She expressed: "Matilda is a little angel. She's definitely more sensitive. Delilah is like me, we've got similar personalities. She's hilarious. And Charlie is beautiful, a gorgeous, cute little boy."

Despite finding it difficult to discuss this year's trauma, Helen is resolved to help break down the stigma surrounding mental health, having witnessed the immense positives that emerged from her darkest times. She stated: "I don't think I'd have worked on my relationship with Scott if it hadn't happened, so the time out changed everything for the better."

"I've always been open, it's partly my personality and partly my ADHD."

"I know I'm lucky. I've got beautiful children and lots of good things in my life. I hope talking might make someone feel less alone."

Get the latest celebrity gossip and telly news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily Showbiz newsletter here .