Denise Welch has been praised for bravely sharing tearful videos chronicling a depressive episode to show people what life is like with a mental health issue.
The TV star has spoken out many times about her struggles with depression and her former reliance on alcohol, but decided to give people a first-hand view of what it’s like to be struck by an episode by filming herself a number of times over 48 hours and tweeting the videos.
Her posts prompted a huge number of responses from people going through the same thing, as well as support from celebrities including Carol Vorderman, Melinda Messenger, Stacey Solomon, Mark Bonnar, Matt Evers, Sammy Winward and Sali Hughes.
Through your pain you are bringing light. Through your darkness you are spreading good. Hang in there.— Matt Evers (@TheMattEvers) September 29, 2019
Love you Dens.....❤️❤️— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) September 29, 2019
Sending massive hugs and thinking of you. You’ve got this. We are all here with you! Love you 🖤— Stacey Solomon (@StaceySolomon) September 29, 2019
In the clips, which many found difficult to watch as she breaks down in tears, Welch explains that it is a mild episode of clinical depression and tries to describe her feelings over a period of a couple of days, beginning with a visit to her sister’s house in the North East.
Explaining her reasons for posting in the first video, she said: “As someone who professes to be a mental health advocate, I have to share the bad times with you, so I am in the midst of a mild episode of clinical depression.”
A mild episode of clinical depression. pic.twitter.com/2hnxMLB4Zn— Denise Welch (@RealDeniseWelch) September 29, 2019
She went on: “Trying to explain depression to those who are fortunate not to suffer is difficult, but it’s kind of like, it is what it says on the tin.
“Depression depresses every single emotion you have so that there’s a flatness and a void there.
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“How I describe it is that the colour goes out of my life.”
Welch said she would usually be helped by her husband, Lincoln Townley, but he was away for the weekend. She said she was struggling to enjoy simple pleasures.
Thank you & let’s see what tmrw brings ❤️ pic.twitter.com/kKZr3oAtRr— Denise Welch (@RealDeniseWelch) September 29, 2019
She said: “I describe it as an unwelcome visitor and he’s here. He’s not at my house, he’s at my sister’s house, but he can find you anywhere and I have to wait for him to go.”
In another video, Welch explained that things were a little easier to deal with now that she has given up alcohol because her problems aren’t compounded by the effects of drinking.
But 15 minutes later, she posted a clip of herself crying, saying: “This is how it feels. Part of me feels ridiculous sharing this because it’s like ‘oh boohoo, boohoo’.
“But I just feel if I’m going to talk about the journey of an episode, I want you to see there’s nothing different in my circumstances to yesterday, but I’m terrified about everything, and everything’s dark.”
This is hard to share but I said I would. 15 minutes later pic.twitter.com/nv7D8Jihxl— Denise Welch (@RealDeniseWelch) September 29, 2019
She added: “Good news, bad news, none of it makes any sense, it just doesn’t matter.”
There was an outpouring of support on Twitter for Welch, with praise for her honesty and bravery in sharing her reality.
I am so, so sorry you’re feeling like this. I wish you better. Xx— Sali Hughes (@salihughes) September 29, 2019
Thank you for your bravery in posting this Denise- it’s important that people understand and those who suffer don’t feel quite so alone. Bless you x wishing you lots of love x— Mark Bonnar (@mark_bonnar) September 29, 2019
You might not think it right now but being so honest and open will and does help people who are going through the same thing I hope the episode soon passes for you and posting this is s brave thing to do— gareth pennington (@gazpen) September 29, 2019
I admire your honesty and bravery so much. I hope you realise how much sharing videos like this helps so many by reminding them they are not alone with their struggles. Sending love and wishes that the unwelcome visitor leaves very soon. ❤— Miriam Ryan (@MiriamRyan101) September 29, 2019
DENISE WE ARE WITH YOU GIRL ❤️ ...— Stacey Dooley (@StaceyDooley) September 29, 2019
I admire you so much Denise 💜— Sammy winward (@WinwardSammy) September 29, 2019
Her fans were relieved to see that by Monday morning she was coming out of the other side of the episode, and posted a video saying that she was feeling much better.
She said: “I think the visitor has made a short visit and is on his way out.
“It’s not sadness. When I’m depressed, I don’t feel sad – I don’t feel anything.
Today is a better day. No swirls. He’s leaving I hope ❤️ pic.twitter.com/NIoGvcVpQ3— Denise Welch (@RealDeniseWelch) September 30, 2019
“In 30 years, I’m sick of having to explain, I have a serious illness. I work through my illness but I’m not defined by my illness, because when the sun comes out again, my life is good.”