Andrea McLean has given a candid insight into her mental health battle. The former Loose Women star suffered a nervous breakdown in 2019 and has now reflected on the reasons behind her downward spiral.
Speaking to Platinum magazine, Andrea said she believes her struggle was a result of trying to be the perfect mother and a "Stepford wife".
MORE: 6 celebrity proposal mishaps: From Ruth Langsford to Emma Willis
WATCH: High Street Hits with Andrea McLean: Episode 6
She explained: "I tried to be the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect employee, the perfect friend - and now I look back and I feel really sorry for me back then."
READ: Andrea McLean shares genius swap for denim shorts this summer - and wow
MORE: Andrea McLean's figure-flattering M&S dress is a summer must-have
The 51-year-old went on to speak about the pressure placed on women to be seen as "good girls". "As women, we're raised to be really good girls: to say yes and smile and be lovely and make everyone else feel comfortable. And actually, you're the one who's coming in last...
Andrea has been married to Nick Feeney since 2017
"And then we're told we're selfish if we want to do something for ourselves. I call b******t on that now. [...] I was Little Miss Stepford - and it made me feel ill."
READ: Andrea McLean reveals her take on 'scary' mini skirts at 51
MORE: Andrea Mclean shares hot tub selfie in blue bikini – and looks fabulous
Andrea made the difficult decision to leave Loose Women back in November having appeared on the ITV show since 2007. Sharing the news live on air, she revealed that her breakdown had played its part. "Like so many people this has been a time to hugely reflect and think back," she began. "So many people have been talking about how they can't wait for life to get back to normal.
The star appeared on Loose Women from 2007 until 2020
"I, like many people, did that and thought, 'Do I want my life to go back to the normal that it was before?'
"Obviously last year I had a nervous breakdown and what I felt is that this year collectively the world has had a breakdown.
READ: Andrea McLean reveals the one thing she stole from the Loose Women set
MORE: Andrea McLean reveals genius curve-enhancing fashion hack
"The experience that I had has meant that this year that I have actually been mentally really strong to deal with everything that the pandemic threw at all of us but it made me stop and think, 'What do I actually want?'"
Andrea is a proud mother of two children
"You get one life, are you living it the way that you want? And are you doing everything that you want to do? Are you being brave? Are you taking chances? And I realised, no."
Andrea has been married to husband Nick Feeney since November 2017. She is a mother of two children from previous relationships; Finlay and Amy.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.