The 61-year-old former panellist hadn’t been seen on the ITV daytime show since December 2018, but returned as a guest on Friday’s show to tell of her recent experiences.
The Birds Of A Feather star told Kaye Adams, Stacey Solomon, Nadia Sawalha and Jane Moore: “I was having a meltdown. I came off the wine [as part of a sugar free diet], and I used to take a tablet to help me sleep every night. When I came off the wine, I upped the tablet, and then I got concerned about taking the tablet.
“So I went to see somebody about it and they gave me a tablet - I won’t mention the name but I had a really bad reaction to it, a proper meltdown.
“I got really bad anxiety, really bad depression, and my OCD kicked into overdrive.“
Linda revealed she was taking four baths each day as she suffered with her obsessive-compulsive disorder.
She added: “At one point, I was having four baths a day, I was washing my bedding every day.
“People joke when they hear someone saying about OCD they think it’d a bit of a joke or whatever, but it’s not actually a joke, it took over my life. I couldn’t clean everything enough.”
Talking about the police turning up to her house following an incident last year, she said: “Yeah they were called. Because I was drinking, they [the family] were locking me in, so I couldn’t get out and then I was shouting through the door, ‘Someone let me out!’ And then the police were called because they thought I’d been kidnapped. That was my family trying to keep myself. Now, touch wood, I’m off the alcohol completely.”
Linda said she had been drinking to “self-medicate” before seeking treatment, and now hasn’t touched alcohol in 11 months.
Commenting on her recovery, Linda said: “If you’d ever told me, I’d always been really positive. [There’s been no quick fix], it’s been a long, long time. Touch wood, I’m finally there!“
Back in October, she confirmed she would be back on the panel show and was excited to return.
Linda said at the time: ”[I can’t wait for] the gossip in the green room and our little chats. That’s my favourite part - things you never see on air.”
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.
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: email@example.com
- 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.