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World Mental Health Day: Stories of survival from Martine McCutcheon, Stephen Fry and Catherine Zeta-Jones

10 OCTOBER 2013 To anyone following Martine McCutcheon's Twitter feed, the actress and singer seems as bubbly as ever right now – sharing details of nights out, her life with impossibly gorgeous husband Jack McManus and plans to record new music.

Yet for many years she suffered from crippling depression probably brought on by chronic fatigue syndrome, ME, from which she was also suffering. Martine was in constant pain and at times could hardly leave the house, let alone work.

 



Martine has recovered with the help of her supportive husband



It got so bad the brunette beauty, who has been the nation's sweetheart since starring in EastEnders, aged 18, thought about death. "I would pray to God I wouldn't wake up," she said in a recent interview with the Sun. "I would just say 'Please, whatever this is it is making me feel so bad, just let it kill me'."

Her doctor recommended Martine take anti-depressants, which she did for a year. Thankfully she is now healthy, on the road to recovery and delighted with the positive response to her article. It's not surprising her suffering touched a chord with the public.

 



The actress and singer is now planning a comeback concert



According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year, with mixed anxiety and depression noted as the most common mental disorders in Britain.

Dr Tom Stevens, a consultant psychiatrist at London Bridge Hospital, advises sufferers to try speaking to those closest to them and consult their GP.

"If depression is starting to lead to you feeling that life is not worth living and you are fearful that you might do something then it is important to get help as soon as possible," he says.

 



Stephen Fry recently revealed that he had suicidal thoughts while presenting on TV
 



Other stars such as Stephen Fry, Jon Hamm, Ruby Wax and Catherine Zeta-Jones have also been vocal about their struggles with mental health issues.

Recently Stephen – who describes himself as "a victim of my moods"– revealed that he'd tried to to take his own life last year.

The comedian suffers from bipolar condition and takes medication to regulate his drastic mood swings.

He also disclosed that when he is presenting the BBC quiz show QI, “there are times when I’m going ‘ha ha, yeah yeah’ and inside I’m going ‘I want to die. I…Want…To… …Die.”

As the president of mental health charity Mind he felt important to shine the spotlight on the problem.


 



Catherine Zeta-Jones wants to remove the stigma attached to mental health issues



Catherine Zeta-Jones said she suffered for years with depression before she was also diagnosed with bipolar.

Speaking when her condition emerged, she said: "I’m in a much better place now. Things are going great and long may they continue because it’s been a tough road. But it’s a road that millions of people go down every day.

"I'm not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it is completely controllable."

'"I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don't have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it."

Thursday, 10 October is World Mental Health Day. Anyone seeking help or advice can contact Samaritans at any time by calling 08457 90 90 90 or emailing jo@samaritans.org

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