The 28-year-old ‘Inbetweeners’ star told The Sun On Sunday that she was struggling with her mental health just before she joined the show.
The actress said: “I’ve only had one panic attack in my whole life and that was just before I left for the jungle. It was so, so horrible, totally out of the blue and really weird.
“I was getting my eyelash extensions done and I’d had a really stressful few weeks in the build-up to doing the show. I was lying there and it just crept up.
“I didn’t know what was happening. I was sweating, my heart rate was creeping up and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It was awful.”
“I saw the psychiatrist before and after the show, and they’re still checking in to make sure I’m OK.”
Emily added that she still sees a counsellor regularly, having struggled with depression in the past.
“I’m not afraid to admit I have therapy. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and it really does help,” she said.
“I have struggled in the past. I have been through a lot in my life, my parents divorced when I was 16 and it was a very difficult time.
“I am a very emotional person so, for me, it’s about someone listening to your feelings and giving their professional opinion.
“I’m naturally a very happy person but I’ve had times with depression, and have got through it with therapy.
Emily, who was the runner-up to this year’s King of the Jungle Harry Redknapp, provided plenty of laughs in the jungle, and revealed a hidden talent for impressions.
The actress impressed everyone with her spot-on imitations of ‘This Morning’ host Ruth Langsford and ‘Love Island’ winner Dani Dyer.
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.)
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.