Former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George has confessed he is still receiving regular therapy sessions as a result of appearing on the show.
The A&E doctor took part in the ITV2 dating show last year and was publicly ridiculed for being rejected by all the female contestants.
Speaking to Kate Thornton on the latest episode of her White Wine Question Time podcast in the wake of ITV’s decision to axe The Jeremy Kyle Show following the suspected suicide of a guest, George admitted he has needed help adjusting to life as a celebrity.
He revealed: “Because of everything that’s gone on - the fame - I asked if I could have some therapy to talk through everything. I asked for an appointment one day and within 24 hours they'd booked it and they said you can have as many as you need. I am still having those sessions.”
The 28-year-old doctor - who is now in a relationship with dancer Amelia Bath - told how he has suffered abuse from online trolls since entering the spotlight and spoke of the pressure from social media to put on a front that life is always great.
George said: “It's important to recognise that there is a bad side [to fame].
“I get trolled a lot, people say horrible things about you, people judge your worth all the time on social media, whatever they believe that to be.
“So there is this yo-yo all the time. And I think it's important when it comes to reality TV and the sad passing of Mike and Sophie before that. Reality TV is not the cause of that its part of a wider social issue. It worse in this country than its ever been, social media has impacted o that. Every 90 seconds someone calls the Samaritans in crisis. The latest statistics show that 2 in 5 men who want to have help would never ever ask for it, even if they want to.
“On social media you’re trying to show ‘I’m living the high life’, so if you go and ask for help you’re admitting, ‘Actually I’m having a really s*** time’.”
Thalassitis, who appeared on the reality dating show in 2017, was found dead in March at the age of 26. Gradon, 32, who was a contestant in 2016, was found hanged in June by her boyfriend, who later took his own life in similar circumstances.
George said: “I can only talk from my experience with Love Island but we had analysis [before being selected for the show], we had psychologists, we had 24 hour support on the show. And then in my experience the after care for me has been really good.”
Hear the full interview on Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time with Dr Alex George, ex-TOWIE star Frankie Essex and MIC’s Alex Mytton on Friday. Subscribe on Apple or Spotify to get first access to all the celebrity confessions.
If you’ve been affected by this story and want to talk to someone, you can call the Samaritans free on 116 123 or at email@example.com