Hollyoaks' Joe Tracini opens up about mental health struggles
Note: This article contains discussion of themes including mental ill health, addiction and suicide. The embedded video also contains content that some readers may find distressing.
Former Hollyoaks star Joe Tracini has opened up about his mental health in an emotional video.
Joe, who played Dennis Savage on the soap, shared a video of himself on Twitter, where he talks about his previous substance abuse and having Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder (also known as BPD).
He describes the disorder as similar to bipolar, "where it does most of the same stuff, just some of it's a bit shitter", and that even though he was asking himself why he was doing what he was doing, he couldn't answer.
Joe also spoke candidly about supporting somebody with an addiction.
"You'll know that there comes a point where you have exhausted everything you can think of to try and help them, and it gets to the point where you just have to be there for them and hope that they ask for help before they die," he said. "It's kind of that blunt."
Joe, who is the son of actor and comedian Joe Pasquale, asked the people who were closest to him to start filming him after he left rehab in 2012 – something which he says he was "very thankful" for, "because they were just trying to help me in any way that they could".
The video he shared includes a clip of himself after he walked out of hospital the day after an overdose, stating: "This was about two weeks before I climbed over onto the wrong side of a bridge".
Joe clearly advised followers that they may not wish to watch the clip of him taken in 2012, which starts just over 2 minutes into the video.
Not many of you know quite how bad my health was 7 years ago.
I’m gonna show you to explain why I talk about it, and that life, and you, can change.
It’s not easy to watch, so don’t push play if you’re not sure, and know that I’m ok now.#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek pic.twitter.com/dQ3w6yeCqW
— Joe Tracini (@joetracini) May 13, 2019
"Why am I doing this? I'm doing this because I can't go back and tell my family that I'm gonna be alright," said Joe after the clip had finished, starting to cry.
"I can't tell them that. I can't go back and tell me that I'm going to be alright... the drinks and drugs were a symptom of a bigger problem, and if I'd had found the bigger problem quicker, I would have hurt less people.
"So I'm doing it to try and make that worth something."
Tracini says that while he was a drug addict and an alcoholic, he went to rehab three times and has been clean for seven years, and sober for four years.
He has spoken about anxiety and depression before, and credits his former co-star Emmett J Scanlan with saving his life.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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