ENTERTAINMENT

Sheridan Smith Opens Up About Her Mental Health Struggles: ‘My Life Was Falling Apart’

The actress admits she felt she couldn't tell anyone what she was going through.

16/10/2017 07:35 BST | Updated 16/10/2017 12:35 BST

Sheridan Smith has opened up about her mental health following a difficult year that has seen her battle anxiety and depression.

The actress revealed that her father’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent death triggered a mental breakdown, which saw her taking a break from the spotlight.

Jeff Spicer/BFC via Getty Images
Sheridan Smith

She told the Sunday Times Culture Magazine: “My life was falling apart and I didn’t tell anyone.

“I was totally terrified that I was going to come unstuck, that I couldn’t hold these feelings of insecurity in much longer without it coming to a head.

“Which it did last year. My dad getting cancer triggered it, but it had been a long time coming.

“Things have been weird for years.”

The 36-year-old added that the more successful she became, thanks to critically acclaimed turns in the likes of ‘Cilla’ and ‘The C-Word’, the more she suffered with feelings of anxiety and insecurity.

“You’re constantly worrying you’re not going to be as good as people think you should be,” she explained.

Ian Gavan via Getty Images
Sheridan with her beloved her father Colin.

Things eventually came to a head last year, and she was forced to take a two-month break from playing Fanny Brice in the West End production of ‘Funny Girl’, due to “stress and exhaustion”.

Speaking about how she felt at the time, she told The Times: “All I could imagine was people thinking, ‘You should be grateful. Get over yourself.’

“But when you have that degree of anxiety, you can’t just pull yourself together and you can’t explain it. It just snowballs until it’s out of control.”

After taking a break to recuperate, Sheridan made a triumphant comeback on last week’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, performing ‘My Man’ from her forthcoming album, ‘Sheridan’ - something her late father pushed her to do.

“I had his voice ringing in my ear,” she added. “I’m going to dedicate the album to him.”

Following his death, the actress paid tribute to her father by having a tribute tattoo on her wrist that simply reads ‘Daddy’s Girl’.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk