Andrea McLean emotionally recalled her mental breakdown during Monday’s Loose Women.
The presenter, 50, explained that she would repeatedly tell friends and colleagues she was ‘totally fine,’ even as her mental health continued to deteriorate.
Despite keeping her emotions hidden, Andrea added that it still ‘hurt’ when she began to feel friends ‘pulling away,’ as the panel praised her for speaking out about her breakdown.
Candid: Andrea McLean emotionally recalled her mental breakdown during Monday’s Loose Women, as she admitted it stemmed from ‘a culmination of things’
Andrea said: ‘I had a breakdown last year it was a culmination of many things, it was death by paper cuts and it culminated last summer where I had a breakdown, burned out, at home we called it face-planting.’
Coleen Nolan admitted she and the rest of the Loose Women team knew Andrea was struggling, but didn’t know how to help as she insisted that all was well.
She added: ‘The problem is you weren’t letting us in… we’d say ”are you alright? You can text us when you’re home,” and you said you were alright.’
Saira Khan agreed: ‘We don’t want to say too much because we’re worried we’re intruding, how do we do it.’
Speaking out: The presenter revealed earlier this year that she suffered a secret breakdown last summer (pictured hosting Loose Women in June 2019)
Difficult: Andrea told the panel that she would repeatedly tell friends and colleagues she was ‘totally fine,’ even as her mental health continued to deteriorate
Denise went onto praise Andrea for speaking out about her breakdown, stating: ‘I’m so proud of you, I was so proud of you, I knew it was happening and you were frightened of what many people were going to say, but it’s so good that you did…’
Andrea admitted that despite pushing her friends away, she still found it hard as the distance grew between them.
She told the panel: ‘ A lot of the accusations I’ve had is ”Andrea McLean she’s very safe, she’s very bland.” A lot of that came from fear and stepping out of those boundaries.
‘I think I was a Stepford wife at work. A lot of women say how are you and you say I’m fine totally fine, and you don’t want to burden your colleagues.
‘I think for me it is a little bit hurtful when you feel people pulling away but you don’t know how to get that back.’
Challenging: Andrea admitted that despite pushing her friends away, she still found it hard as the distance grew between them
Andrea took a break from Loose Women after suffering a breakdown, but did not reveal the extent of her struggles until May of this year.
The star has since spent a majority of lockdown writing a tell-all book about her struggles,
She said: ‘Last year i had a breakdown, I also spent much of the following year and much of the lockdown writing about that breakdown.
‘What that’s like, it’s like poking a wound. The book that I’ve written is the most honest and raw book i have ever written.
‘[It incorporates] the reasons why [I had a breakdown]… It talks about domestic abuse, which I have never opened up about before, it talks about mental unwellness, and getting to that breaking point when you can’t take anymore.’
Loose Women airs weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV.
On the mend: The star has since spent lockdown writing a tell-all book about her struggles. Loose Women airs weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV