Helen Flanagan shares 'very scary' hidden health issue that forced her to send kids away

-Credit:Helen Flanagan Instagram
-Credit:Helen Flanagan Instagram

Actress Helen Flanagan has courageously shared her experience of a harrowing psychotic breakdown following the end of her relationship with footballer Scott Sinclair. The beloved ex-Coronation Street star, 33, endured a tough emotional battle after her separation from her partner of 13 years in July 2022.

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

After struggling to feel "normal", she began treating her ADHD but had an "awful reaction" to the medication, which led to a psychotic episode. An emotional Helen recounted: "It was really sad and very scary. I was seeing things and I felt like I was in danger all the time."

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She didn't realise what was happening at the time, prompting her nanny to contact her parents, Julia and Paul, who were alerted that something was amiss. Helen agreed to let her children stay with them while she sought help, telling the Mirror: "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."

Unfortunately, her health issues forced her to withdraw from her role as Miss Scarlett in the touring production of Cluedo 2, which would have required extensive travel. Helen explained: "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 Flanagan, who became a household name playing Rosie Webster on Coronation Street from the tender age of nine, has opened up about her departure from more than 1,000 episodes by 2018. Reflecting on her exit from Cluedo 2, she confessed: "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."

Discussing her love life now, she commented: "I went on a few dates. The people 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 just go with the flow. I hadn't been on the dating scene for 13 years so it's like a whole new world."

Despite still struggling to discuss this year's hardships, Helen remains committed to addressing the stigma surrounding mental health, having personally experienced the positive outcomes of her bleakest moments. She revealed, saying: "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."