Denise Welch is often applauded by fans for her candour and honesty on both Loose Women and her social media channels.
MORE: See how the Loose Women stars have changed over the years
And on Monday night she took to the latter to share details of a "heartbreaking" health battle with her shocked followers.
WATCH: Denise Welch's weight loss journey
Denise uploaded a throwback photo showing her pregnant with her first child, son Matty. She can be seen with her bump on display as she pulls a wry smile for the camera. In the caption, 63-year-old Denise explained the reason for sharing the photo.
READ: Loose Women's Denise Welch addresses on-set feud rumours
MORE: Inside Denise Welch's £1m home which was dramatically set on fire by stalker
"It's maternal mental health week," Denise wrote. "This is 2 days before Matty was born, April 1989. Happy, excited, nervous. I had a brilliant pregnancy and wasn't even bothered when he was 9 days late!
Denise shared a throwback photo from her first pregnancy
"Long labour but he was a healthy 8lbs and we were thrilled with our beautiful boy. I wasn't anxious. I loved the first few days even though he cried a lot.
READ: Denise Welch shares rare photos of son Louis for very special occasion
MORE: Loose Women hosts' lavish houses: Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan, more
"A week later out of nowhere, during a walk with my mum, my life changed forever. After my first ever panic attack a feeling of unreality came over me and within an hour I was in a thick, black, terrifying depression. I didn't eat for weeks. I was almost catatonic. My family took leave of work and stayed with me night and day.
The star is a proud mum to son Matty and Louis
"Post natal depression robbed me of any joy for months," Denise confided. "I felt nothing. The GP was terrible and knew nothing. I tried for 20 yrs to get someone to listen to me that I felt my illness was hormonal. No one really helped me.
READ: Denise Welch opens up about 'terrible guilt' over mother's death
MORE: Denise Welch showcases weight loss with before-and-after photos
"Years of good days and bad days followed. Several 'nervous breakdowns' as we called them and every anti depressants known to man, which undoubtedly did help for sure.
She shares her boys with ex-husband Tim Healy
"About 13 yrs ago a gynaecologist in London was recommended to me. Professor John Studd. He found me to be very severely deficient in oestrogen. My life changed that day. I still live with the 'unwelcome visitor' but he far less visible these days."
The star concluded: "We have HRT and it's our right to be given it. Reach out and shout from the roof tops if you have to. Accept any help offered. Don't suffer in silence. With the right help life with your baby will be wonderful."
Denise has been married to Lincoln Townley since July 2013
Fans immediately rallied around the mum-of-two. "We all love you Denise," one wrote. "Heartbreaking what you went through," a second remarked.
A third said: "Thank you for sharing and being so brutally honest about what you went through….your honesty helps so many."
Like this story? Sign up to our HELLO! Mail newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.