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Andrea McLean reveals traumatic experience that stopped her presenting Loose Women

The Loose Women panellist was talking to HELLO! during a Facebook Live

Hanna Fillingham
US Managing Editor
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Andrea McLean has been incredibly open over the past few years about her battle with anxiety - and has even written about her struggles in her new book Confessions of a Menopausal Woman - but recently her condition got so bad that it stopped her from undertaking her presenting duties on Loose Women. Talking to HELLO!, the mother-of-two recalled the time that she had a panic attack on the train during her commute to work. "In November last year I was on the train on the way to work and I had not felt right for a couple of days," she said. "I had been awake since half two in the morning, and as I got on the train I could feel it coming. For me my tongue starts to swell and I get intensely frightened, and I thought I was going to throw up. And on a train you really don’t want that to happen."

loose women andrea mclean

Andrea McLean's panic attack on the train stopped her from going on Loose Women

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The TV personality continued: "I had to sit on a packed commuter platform with my head between my legs and I realised I had to go home. And that was a big step for me, and I rang work and I said I couldn’t come in." While Andrea confessed that she didn’t enjoy telling her work that she couldn’t go in: "I am a good Scottish girl and you don’t ring work just because you are feeling a bit poorly," she now realises it was a blessing in disguise. "But I am actually really glad that I did that as just knowing that I could. And I just said 'mum's going to bed'. And I slept all day, and felt better. That's all I had to do," she said.

andrea mclean wedding

The TV presenter's husband Nick Feeney helps her manage her anxiety

Andrea then gave advice to anyone else who may be suffering. "Don’t try and fight it, just accept it," she said. The former GMB weather girl has been sharing other tips and tricks to help her manage her anxiety on her Instagram account. These include reading, and Andrea recommended a book called First We Make the Beast Beautiful by I Quit Sugar founder Sarah Wilson, who shares her own experiences of anxiety and finding the best ways to thrive with the condition, rather than seeing it as something restrictive.

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The star has also revealed that she regularly meditates, and has recently racked up an impressive 200 days worth by using an app which encourages deep breathing and peaceful thoughts. There is another key factor which has helped Andrea cope with her anxiety – and that is her husband Nick Feeney. The happy couple met on a blind date and married in 2017, surrounded by their family and close friends, which included many of Andrea's Loose Women co-stars.