Alastair Campbell says that his depression can leave him feeling ‘dead inside’, but admitted it can be ‘harder’ for his partner Fiona Millar.
Tony Blair‘s Yorkshire-born former spin doctor, 63, appeared on Lorraine this morning to speak about his ‘horrific’ bouts of illness, but confessed that his long-term partner Fiona has ‘no support or help’.
He explained that at the height of his illness, while he would be ‘okay’ speaking to colleagues, he felt he could ‘be himself’ with his partner, with whom he has three children, which meant he simply wouldn’t talk to her.
Alastair Campbell says that his depression can leave him feeling ‘dead inside’ but admitted it can be ‘harder’ for his partner Fiona Millar. The pair are pictured in October 2003
Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, 63, appeared on Lorraine this morning where he told of his ‘horrific’ mental illness
‘In some ways it’s harder,’ he said ‘If you’re the person who has the depression or the illness, you’re causing the aggro or the grief.
‘You’re the person who will get the medication like I do and the people looking after you have no support or help. It’s amazing how many people react to what Fiona says about being a partner of someone with depression.’
Campbell’s older brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 18, and he has admitted that while he smoked for 30 years and ate badly – he feels his past lifestyle and genetics may be still having an impact on his mind today.
It was when he was 28 that the extent of his depression revealed itself, and he had his first breakdown which led to and an on off relationship with anti-depressants.
It was when he was 28 that the extent of his depression revealed itself. He had his first breakdown which led to and his on off relationship with anti-depressants. Alastair is pictured with Tony Blair at a Labour Party Conference in Brighton
He went on: ‘There would be times I would take a phone call at home from Tony and I would be okay and the minute I put the phone down Fiona would say “Are you okay” and I wouldn’t speak.
‘Because with her I felt I could be myself and I’m not like that often, but when I am it’s horrific.
‘When people think “oh I’m depressed because my football team lost” – if you’ve had depression, you know that is not depression. Depression is when you literally feel like you’re dead inside.’
He admitted that lockdown was ‘up and down’ for him, and that he feels that ‘now is the time’ to address the effects the pandemic may have had on the public’s mental health.
‘I’ve had a very up and down lockdown to be honest,’ he told. ‘Then I had what I can only describe as a very manic phase.
He admitted that lockdown was ‘up and down’ for him, and that he feels that ‘now is the time’ to address the effects the pandemic may have had on the public’s mental health
Alastair told host Lorraine Kelly evaluates his mental health every morning, rating his moon on a scale of one to ten – with one being ‘utterly delirious’ and ten being ‘not able to face it anymore’
‘I think an awful lot of people were affected by the pandemic, but I think this was the issue coming anyway and if we need to focus on mental health at any time it’s now.’
Alastair evaluates his mental health every morning, rating his mood on a scale of one to ten – with one being ‘utterly delirious’ and ten being ‘not able to face it anymore’.
‘It’s definitely helped, he told. ‘One for me is utterly delirious everything is perfect, two is dangerous that’s where I’m manic.
‘Four and three, I’m at a good level, five is where I start to wobble a bit and eight is where I start to slide into dark depression, nine is I am unable to function and ten is where I’m not able to face it anymore.’
He added: ‘It’s amazing, as you get through life you have a tank where you store them and when you get into the wrong end of the scale, you draw through it.’