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Loose Women's Andrea McLean Reveals How She Hid Postnatal Depression From TV Viewers For Three Years

05/12/2011 11:33 | Updated 22 May 2015

Loose Women's Andrea McLean reveals how she hid postnatal depression from TV viewers for three years

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Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean has told how she broke down in tears in between TV breaks as she struggled with postnatal depression for three years.

The 42 year-old mum-of-two said she was so down that she would run to the toilets and have a good cry while the ad breaks were on.

To millions of us, she was as bubbly and effervescent as ever after returning to present the weather on GMTV after having her daughter, Amy, now five, to builder Steve Toms.

But she revealed to the Mirror: "I felt rubbish as a mother and useless as a wife. It was a dark time for me. I felt completely down and miserable, but I didn't want to burden anyone with what was going on.

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So in breaks on the show, I could run to the loos and cry my eyes out. I'd cry and cry, then take a deep breath and sort myself out and go back with a smile on my face. No-one knew what was happening. I managed to hide it very well, for a long time.

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Andrea said she lived with the burden of postnatal depression for three years before seeking help. She is only now able to talk about it.

"I put up with it for far too long," she said. "I kept thinking: 'This will pass, it's only a phase, I'll be fine'.

"I went to my doctor and explained how I had been feeling for such a long time. She explained that it sounded like postnatal depression. It was a relief to hear, because I knew then I could do something about it. She told me not to worry, not to be embarrassed and she reassured me instantly that it could be fixed."

Andrea, who also has a son, Finlay, 10, from a previous relationship, said her doctor prescribed medication and after about four weeks "it was as if a switch had been flicked and I was coming back to myself."

She believes one of the reasons why she suffered what she went through was because she went back to work just three months after having Amy.

"It's no surprise I felt so exhausted and anxious all the time," she said. "I was getting up at the crack of dawn and looking after a baby at the same time."

But she said she felt she had no choice.

"In the business I'm in, if you don't work, you can't pay the mortgage. They'd have found someone else," she said.

Two years on, Andrea can now talk about what she went through, and realises how lucky she now is.

"I've been blessed with two lovely children. I've been through enough with it all and I realise how lucky I am," she said.

Did you suffer from postnatal depression like Andrea?

How did you cope?

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