Seann Walsh suffering anxiety and depression since 'Strictly' kiss
Seann Walsh has said sharing a kiss with Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones "destroyed my dreams and who I was".
The 35-year-old comedian was pictured kissing his married professional dance partner when he took part in the show in 2018. This prompted his actress girlfriend Rebecca Humphries to accuse him on Twitter of being verbally abusive and controlling towards her, sparking a national debate about gaslighting.
Walsh told life coaching podcast Take Flight: "A kiss and a statement destroyed my dreams and who I was. What I could have been, what my life could have been, what I could have made myself was gone.”
The stand-up comedian revealed he had previously suffered panic attacks in his early 20s, and following the publication of photographs of him and Jones kissing, and his subsequent split from Humphries, they returned.
Watch: Hayley Sanderson is helping raise the voices of domestic abuse survivors
Read more: Seann Walsh quits Twitter claiming trolls made last few years 'absolute hell'
He said: "From that point on my life changed forever. The panic attacks came back – big, big panic attacks and I ended up having what I later found out were vertigo seizures...
“I have to relive what happened. Still, I can be okay then suddenly the memories of it all come back.
“It defeats me and beats me until the plates start spinning and I lose balance and fall and start screaming, so I still get them. They’re less frequent, I’d never had them before."
Walsh said he takes medication for anxiety and depression and has found exercise helps him improve his mental health.
But he also confessed experiencing vertigo seizures could be "humiliating", as if he experiences one in public he has to lie down in the street.
The former Strictly contestant said he had previously had dreams of headlining comedy at the Apollo, and starring in his own sitcom, but after the fall out from his kiss with Jones he found himself "living without hope".
After the photo of the kiss emerged Walsh and Jones both apologised publicly but were voted out of the BBC show a week later.
Read more: Strictly's Katya Jones reveals why she's still wearing her wedding ring
Jones and her husband - Strictly professional dancer Neil Jones - had been married since 2013.
They remained together for 10 months before announcing their separation. They continue to dance together on the BBC show.
Jones became part of Strictly's first same-sex couple last year, dancing with boxer Nicola Adams. They were forced to pull out of the competition after Jones tested positive for COVID-19.
Watch: Katya Jones explains why she pledged not to buy clothes for a year