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Andrea McLean's comments on 'toxic relationships' and breakdown revealed

The former Loose Women star opened up in a heartfelt interview

Andrea McLean attends a book launch on July 26, 2022 in London, England.
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
28 June 2023
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Andrea McLean recently spoke publicly about her difficult struggle with long Covid, after she contracted the illness at Christmas 2022. 

She has always been honest about her physical and mental health, including talking openly about her breakdown in 2019 and her challenging experiences of the menopause after having a hysterectomy. 

In a chat with Time & Leisure last year, she spoke about her "bumps in the road", including addressing what she describes as "toxic relationships". 

WATCH: Andrea McLean breaks down in tears as she announces departure from Loose Women

The presenter and author said: "I've always been interested in human behaviour and why we think and do the things we do. "It's why I’ve loved interviewing all kinds of people for so many years… and not just the famous ones. 

Andrea McLean smiling with husband Nick Feeney © Getty
Andrea with her husband Nick Feeney

"I've had quite a few bumps in the road personally, with toxic relationships, anxiety and overwhelm, and experienced a breakdown in 2019 that made me stop and look at what I needed to do to keep myself on track." 

Andrea McLean attends the ITV Palooza 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on November 12, 2019 © Getty
The star is so honest about her experiences

Central to her philosophy is the need to recognise and be honest with yourself about how you're feeling. 

SEE: Andrea McLean's garden resembles a holiday paradise

She told the publication: "There will be a reason for it, and once you understand that it will help you to do something about it… there's no such thing as constant happiness and euphoria, and social media has made us feel that if we aren’t in a state of constant achievement or bliss then we are failing in some way. You aren't failing. You're simply living." 

Andrea McLean attends the "We Will Rock You" Gala Night at the London Coliseum on June 07, 2023 © Getty
Andrea is recovering from long Covid

Speaking earlier this month about her experience of long Covid, which she called "debilitating", the star told Bella magazine: "I was doing everything that you're supposed to do, which was particularly unfair.

Andrea Mclean at The Ace Hotel on October 17, 2019© Getty
The presenter and author in 2019

"But what I am really appreciative of is my leisure, because until you have something that is so debilitating you cannot walk the length of yourself." 

Andrea went on: "People say 'Oh I'm exhausted', but what I've experienced defies the definition of tired. I'd no energy - it's really hard to feel energised. 

Andrea McLean attends the UK Premiere of "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" at BFI IMAX on July 13, 2018 © Getty
Andrea left Loose Women in 2020

"The simple things like going for a walk - I'd be getting further and further behind [my husband] Nick, to the point where I'd have to say, 'Can you stop for a minute,' it's things like that."

Andrea McLean attends the Rosewood London Christmas Courtyard Party 2022 © Getty
Andrea opened up about her health

The 53-year-old said that she had been ill for around six months, which she described as a "rough" time after she caught Covid and then was "absolutely throttled" by flu in December, with doctors testing her for lupus before diagnosing her with long Covid. 

andrea mclean red spotted dress loose women© Rex
The star inspires other women with her experiences

The star shared, however, that she's starting to feel some improvement now. Andrea, who shocked fans when she left Loose Women in 2020 to pursue other opportunities, has long won praise for her candour about health. 

Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan, Andrea McLean, Kelle Bryan and Katie Piper on Loose Women© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Andrea surprised fans when she left Loose Women

She's been an advocate for better information about the menopause to help women who are struggling, following her own experience at 46. 

Last year, for example, she appeared on Vogue Williams' podcast Taboo Talk, where she joked: "I thought I'd lose at least a stone and have a flatter tummy, but it made no difference," before going on to explain that her sex drive dropped during menopause.

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