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Exclusive: Andrea McLean opens up about her mental health battle

The former Loose Women presenter bravely shared her story

Grace Lindsay

Andrea McLean is the woman of the moment. Not only is she currently training to be a Life Coach, but she is also the presenter of our new digital series HELLO!'s High Street Hits alongside good friend and culture guru Nick Ede.

RELATED: Andrea McLean shares her exciting new roles and the real reason she left Loose Women

The former Loose Women presenter may seem to have it all together, but she recently shared how she suffers from anxiety, and has even experienced panic attacks when out in public. We sat down with the star, who bravely opened up about her story…

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WATCH: Andrea McLean is the new presenter of HELLO!'s High Street Hits

You suffer from anxiety – how is it at the moment and how do you manage it?

"I keep on top of it. The worst part of anxiety is that you do all the things that you know you're supposed to do to keep on top of it, and then you start feeling better and you think 'oh well I'm good now so there's no need to do that'. So you stop doing all the little things and it creeps back in again.

"First you then go into kicking yourself mode, saying 'why did I stop doing these things?' And then you just need to take a deep breath and start all over again.

"For me it's yoga and meditation and journaling and forcing myself to go for a walk, because I have become quite insular. I don't leave the house very often. It's easy when it's a sunny day but it's been difficult because the weather hasn't been that great."

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Andrea and her husband are training to be Life Coaches

A while ago you had a panic attack on a train…

"It's so horrible. I thought I was going to throw up on the train. It was before lockdown so it was on a busy commuter train, it was absolutely packed and I had to get off and put my head between my legs and take deep breaths and hope no one recognised me because I looked crazy! It's really horrible.

"If I'm tired it makes it much worse. My biggest enemy of sleep is bloody Netflix! [laughs] You think 'it's only another 40 minutes, I can do this'. Next thing it's midnight."

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Andrea left Loose Women late last year

We think Andrea is amazing for opening up about her mental health, and we hope that it will help others feel less alone. If you are struggling or feel like you need urgent help, visit Mind for valuable mental health crisis helplines.

DISCOVER: Andrea McLean reveals the one thing she stole from the Loose Women set

Keep an eye out for the next episode of HELLO!'s High Street Hits at hellomagazine.com

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