Linda Robson has opened up about her mental health difficulties and battle with alcohol after taking time out from the limelight last year. Speaking on Friday's Loose Women, the former Birds of a Feather actress bravely detailed her battle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anxiety and depression, and a six-week stint in a treatment facility.
The actress, 61, explained that her OCD reached severe levels as a result of taking medication for sleep. "I went to see somebody about it and they gave me a tablet," she began. "But I had a really bad reaction to it. I had a proper meltdown, I got really bad anxiety, I got really bad depression and my OCD kicked into overdrive."
Linda opened up about her struggle with mental health on Loose Women
Linda went on to explain that friend and fellow Loose Women panellist Stacey Solomon helped her on her journey to recovery after spotting signs of Linda's OCD, such as seeing her need her phone on full charge at all times. The mum-of-four explained, "I'd have the mobile chargers, like five or six of them, ready to charge if it ran out."
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Stacey, who accompanied Linda on a trip to Ibiza, flew home early with Linda after seeing that her friend was struggling. The former X Factor star explained: "I remember when we flew home and we went straight to a hospital to get some help and your family were right there," with Linda continuing: "My family found somewhere where they thought they'd be able to help me, so I went into this place for six weeks."
Linda then explained that after six weeks in the facility, she came out on more medication than before and it was making her hyper, leading her to turn to alcohol. "The medication they were giving me was making me hyper instead of it calming me down so then I started drinking again because I couldn't face the day," she said.
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Her fellow panellists praised Linda's bravery
In 2018, it was reported that the police had been called to Linda's house due to an altercation. Linda went on to explain and clarify the story to the Loose Women panel. "Yeah they were called. Because I was drinking, they [the family] were locking me in, so I couldn’t get out and then I was shouting through the door, 'Someone let me out!' And then the police were called because they thought I’d been kidnapped. That was my family trying to keep myself safe."
The actress then took action and went to see her doctor, who told her she'd had a reaction to the medication resulting in her struggling mental health. "My doctor said you’ve had the worst reaction to this medication that I've ever seen. So then I came off, but you have to come off slowly so it took a while for me to feel normal again." After coming off the medication, Linda's reliance of drink subsided. "I haven't had a drink now for 11 months," she explained, adding: "Drink was never the problem. I turned to the drink because I couldn’t medicate myself."
Despite having an incredibly difficult couple of years, Linda's return was met with great applause and support from her fellow panellists. Stacey, Kaye Adams, Nadia Sawalha and Jane Moore all commended Linda's bravery and strength, as Linda finished: "I hope it helps people."
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