Loose Women panellist Nadia Sawalha and her husband Mark Adderley have launched a new mental health campaign, Stand By Your Men, in a bid to encourage men to open up about their problems. The TV presenter was joined by her partner on Thursday's panel as he shared his own experience with depression. Speaking about Mark - who has previously discussed his past addiction with alcohol - Nadia explained: "Even though this is like going to the dentist for Mark, he was really keen to do it because… our Lighten the Load campaign, we're all so enormously proud of it."
Nadia Sawalha and her husband Mark appeared on Thursday's Loose Women
"The fact we're continuing with this and it's such a vital thing to talk about because we are still so far back in being able to really allow men, I think, to talk about their own struggles," she added. "We've all got a kind of fear about it." When fellow host Christine Lampard asked Mark how he felt about talking about his experiences, Mark replied: "I think talking about it is the only way you can normalise it, sort of make it part of everyday conversation."
He added: "When I car-crashed my life through addiction, a number of people didn't realise I had such a problem. Half of the stress with mental health is hiding it, concealing it, and concealing it is where I think addiction comes in. Because people conceal it to drink, through drugs, through all sorts of compulsive behaviour." Hoping that men will feel encouraged to speak out, Mark said: "So yeah... when we talk about it, it is sort of like sharing and hopefully someone somewhere finds something that connects with them."
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Speaking of his alcohol addiction, Mark revealed: "The diagnosis was about four years ago. And it's funny because when you live a life of excess… but at the same time I was functioning in my world... friends didn't realise that I was spiralling out of control in my private life and so they were surprised."
"There were stages - I was done for drink-driving," he continued. "When you phone your wife from a cell, you're not thinking about depression, you're thinking about behaviour - 'My behaviour's wrong' and then as you move through life you move away from those distractions and those co-dependencies and then suddenly you're left with yourself and you think, 'Hang on, I don't feel any better.' You feel as vulnerable, as raw, as depressed and as stressed and anxious." Nadia added: "We've learnt since that so many people that drink or use stuff actually had depression before and that's how they medicated. When Mark got the diagnosis, we were almost relieved."
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