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Exclusive: Peter Andre details 'horrific breakdown' in his 20s - 'I was crying all the time'

The father-of-four spoke to HELLO!

peter andre mental health
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownLifestyle Writer
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Having spent much of his life in the spotlight, Peter Andre is now making a conscious effort to protect his older children Junior, 16, Princess, 14, Amelia, seven and little Theo, four from the darker side of social media - by teaching them to ignore hate comments and online trolls.

MORE: Exclusive: Peter Andre admits he 'doesn't sleep' worrying about son Junior

In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, Peter detailed his "horrific breakdown" in his 20s after rising to fame with hit song Mysterious Girl, explaining how his mental health struggles were only overcome through a combination of "therapy and medication."

WATCH: Peter Andre makes candid comments about his family

After working on a campaign with Habitat Kids that encourages parents to spend more time with their children, Peter opened up about how he and wife Emily Andre are working hard to be mindful of their own children's mental health in a digital age.

Read our conversation with Peter below... 

Being such a positive public figure, fans may find it hard to believe you struggled with mental health. What was your lowest point?

I was in my late 20s when I had a horrific breakdown. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I couldn't breathe, I was anxious, I was crying all the time – and it came out of nowhere.

SEE: Inside Peter Andre's two beautiful homes in Surrey and Cyprus

MORE: Peter and Emily Andre's romantic wedding was so regal - photos

Back when I was in my 20s, I felt so alone. Because nobody ever talked about men's mental health, or mental health in general. I used to ask myself: 'Why am I so weird? Why am I so different?' And then of course I fell into depression because I couldn't understand why. 

peter andre throwback

Peter rose to fame in the 1990s with his hit album

I went to different hospitals and saw several different doctors until we could find a solution. I was devastated when I was told that mental health isn't something you ever get over, it just becomes something you learn to live with. That made me really sad, because I just thought: 'Is that it? Is something wrong with me?' But I challenge that belief, I really do. Because I did get overcome it, and it is beatable. But what people need to know, is just because it's beatable – doesn't mean it can't come back.

How did you overcome your mental health struggles? 

A combination of therapy and medication was the only thing that gave me relief. The medication got me to calm down, and the therapy got me to deal with the problem. If I had only taken the medication, I would've crashed as soon as I had calmed down. If I'd just had the therapy, my head wouldn't have been in the right place to deal with it.

So the combination of the two for me worked. It doesn't work for everybody of course, some people don't believe in therapy, some people don't believe in medication – but for me, it worked.

peter andre with junior princess smiling instagram

Peter is doting dad to four children, including Junior and Princess from a previous marriage

My anxiety came back after I lost my brother Andrew. It was even worse than it was in my 20s, but a lot of that was triggered by my grief. Saying that, I want to stress that mental health struggles are beatable, and there are ways you can get help.  

Has your wife Emily been strong support for you when you've felt yourself slipping back into these feelings?

Of course, but being a Doctor, Emily comes at it from a medical point of view. What I love about her is she doesn't let me suck up to the attention – she knows I can get over it and I'll be okay!

I think what makes our relationship work so well is that we were friends for two years before we became a couple. Princess knew her since she was three, so I think having that friendship meant that we think like each other and we work as a team, we're so honest with each other. 

peter with emily

Peter has been married to Emily for 6 years

Even recently I've felt quite anxious, and I've turned to Emily and asked: 'Why am I feeling really anxious?' But I think I've programmed myself over the years to learn that I've been through this before, I can get over it. We both know that. 

Peter Andre is working with Habitat to launch its first ever year-round kids’ collection, available now at Argos, and Sainsbury’s.

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