On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Mark Wright 12pm - 4pm
29 February 2020, 10:55 | Updated: 1 March 2020, 09:20
Birds of a Feather star Linda Robson has revealed she reached for alcohol after a severe reaction to anti-depressants left her at breaking point 18 months ago.
The TV personality returned to our screens on Loose Women recently after taking an extended hiatus from work.
And in an exclusive interview with her close friend Jane Moore for The Sun, Linda revealed she finally decided to seek help after suffering a breakdown on a girls holiday in Ibiza with Loose Women co-stars Stacey Solomon, Nadia Sawalha, Andrea McLean, Kaye Adams and Saira Khan in 2018.
The actress's weight had plunged to eight stone and Linda admits she felt like she 'wanted to die'.
Due to an extreme battle with anxiety, Linda needed sleeping pills and vodka to 'knock her out' at night.
On the third day of their week-long girlie trip, Linda opened up to her pals after they came to her room and saw her “in a terrible state, crying my eyes out”.
“It was like I was going to die and they had all come upstairs to say goodbye to me", Linda said.
“And it felt like I wanted to die because I wasn’t enjoying life like I’d used to.
“I had reached breaking point and the reason I’m telling you this now is because I want anyone else who might be feeling the same way to read this and know that they’re not alone and that things can get better for them too.
"They just have to accept help, like I did.”
Linda said initially she had tried to cover up her situation: “I was trying to act normal and be part of the gang, but I was struggling to get through the day."
Linda's severe battle with anxiety started in 2008 when her son Louis' pal Ben Kinsella was stabbed to death whilst the pair had been out celebrating their GCSEs. Since then Linda always worried about the safety of her children and needed to be in contact regularly.
She said: “I had about three or four battery packs in my bag just to keep charging my phone all the time, because if I can’t get in touch with my family then I get myself in a terrible state.
“So I was in bed at the villa, just crying and checking my phone every five minutes to see if the kids had rung me.”
The TV panellist added: “I’d sneaked a couple of bottles of vodka with me, just to knock me out at night, but it wasn’t working.
“I’d already had a couple of sleepless nights and, by the third, I ended up having a proper meltdown.”
Linda, famous for playing Tracey in popular BBC series Birds of a Feather, cut the trip short and headed home with good pal Stacey.
Her friends phoned Linda's husband Mark and family and it was agreed a stint in rehab was necessary.
The 61-year-old said: “Stacey came with me. I was in a terrible state, so we played games on her phone just to try to distract me.
“I was thinking, ‘What am I going to do? Where am I going?’ I was scared, embarrassed and ashamed because my kids had been told their mum was in a state and needs help.“When we got to the clinic, they all met us there and when I saw their worried faces all I could think of was, ‘Oh no, what have I done to them?’.”
She explains: “Back then, I was waking up at 4 in the morning, wandering around whilst the rest of the house was asleep and, obviously, it was affecting my work and everyone started to notice that things weren’t right.
“It got to the stage where I didn’t want to leave the house, so I was in here all the time thinking, ‘How am I going to get through the day?’ so the doctor put me on an anti-depressant. But it just seemed to make me worse. Plus, my weight was down from 13st to about eight, so I looked ill, too.”
After time at three different clinics, where it was established that a rare reaction to the anti-depressants was making her behaviour erratic, Linda is now on the mend.
Wishing you well Linda!