'I've Got My Life Back': Labour MP Opens Up About Depression Battle

"I was right on the floor," Andrew Gwynne said.
Labour MP Andrew Gwynne
Labour MP Andrew Gwynne
Richard Townshend

Labour MP Andrew Gwynne has opened up about his battle with depression, saying he now has his “life back”.

The MP for Denton and Reddish said that at his “lowest” he felt like he had “absolutely nothing going for me”.

He urged others suffering with their mental health to seek help before descending the “rungs into suicide”.

Gwynne was once England’s youngest councillor and for a time the youngest sitting MP. He held a number of shadow roles under Jeremy Corbyn and is currently the shadow minister for public health.

“If you are feeling miserable, if you feel that cloud is there, the black dog, try and do something about it,” he told GB News’ Gloria De Piero.

“It’s not easy to recognise that you are at the lowest point because you always feel that there’s still another rung that you can go down.

“The worry is that that rung might be the rung that is the suicidal rung. So don’t let it get that far.

“If you are feeling miserable, there is help there. There are organisations out there. There are people that will listen, that will help, that will point you in the right direction. Please use them.”

Explaining how his condition impacts him, Gwynne added: “This cloud descends on you. You can’t get your mind straight about anything. Everything, even trivial things, just seem insurmountable and you want to give up.

“Now to be fair, I’ve never felt suicidal. I’ve never felt that I wanted to end my life because I have three children, a beautiful wife.

“Those things probably kept me in the game, but at my lowest points, I feel like I have absolutely nothing going for me.

“Even the fact that I’ve got the best job in the world, representing the town where I’ve always lived, grown up, gone to school, brought my own family up and it is a real privilege to represent your hometown in parliament. That in itself is a privilege, but none of it meant anything because I was right on the floor.”

Gwynne said being prescribed antidepressants for depression was a key turning point for him.

“My mental health now is brilliant,” he said. “I wake up and feel normal, whatever normal is.. Nothing troubles me. Well, almost nothing and it’s great to have my life back.

“Obviously, there is some kind of chemical imbalance going on in my body and the pills help fix it. My GP is not concerned about me having been on them now for some time. She says if it’s working, it’s working, and I’ll take her advice on it and it is working.”

He revealed that former House of Commons speaker John Bercow had also recommended that he try talking therapy.

Help and support:

  • 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).
  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.

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