Belfast Telegraph

Saunders opens up about depression

Jennifer Saunders has opened up about suffering depression following her treatment for breast cancer.

The 53-year-old actress and comedian was diagnosed with breast cancer last year after missing her previous mammogram because she was on tour. The actress, who is resurrecting her alter-ego Edina for three Absolutely Fabulous specials, tells the Christmas Radio Times she was unprepared for how she felt when the treatment - six months of chemotherapy - ended.

Jennifer said: "I found the Tamoxifen (which she will be on for five years) the hardest thing because it changes you.

"It's like suddenly becoming older. You feel fagged out, you lose your motor and it makes you feel depressed.

"You have that 'I want to go to bed and sleep for ever' kind of feeling. Normally I have the energy to get up, get ready and do something, but I wasn't starting my days until maybe 11 or 11.30, even though I was awake."

The Ab Fab star said it was one of her best friends, psychologist Tanya Byron, who made her confront the reality that she was suffering from depression.

"I'd say, 'The whole world is against me. Everyone else is wrong about everything.' And she'd say, 'No, darling, I think that might be depression.'"

Jennifer decided to take the antidepressant Citalopram "and, honestly, it was, like, 'Give me more pills!' It was brilliant," she told the magazine.

The star, who has three daughters with husband comedian Adrian Edmondson, missed her previous mammogram before she was diagnosed.

She said: "I always tell my girls, 'Mammograms and smears - they seem like a big thing, but it's nothing. In and out - just do it.'"

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