Belfast Telegraph

Roxanne Pallett opens up about mental health struggles

The former Emmerdale actress urged others to seek help,

Roxanne Pallett (PA)
Roxanne Pallett (PA)

Roxanne Pallett has said she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Panic Disorder after a series of tragedies including her best friend’s suicide.

The actress has been relatively quiet online since last year’s Celebrity Big Brother scandal, when she was heavily criticised for accusing fellow housemate Ryan Thomas of punching her, a claim she later said was “massively wrong”.

But on Monday she opened up in a long post on Instagram in which she told how she was affected by a fire at her family home, her grandmother’s death and an abusive relationship.

She said she once “naively overdosed on a handful of tablets” and that things worsened in 2009 when her friend took her own life.

View this post on Instagram

I want to open up about some things you may not know, as I’ve found there’s a lot of judgement out there with little knowledge when it comes to the story behind the character ~ so here’s mine.. I was 16 when our family home went up in flames. It was traumatic to be trapped inside a burning house. Losing our home & all our belongings was one thing, but months later, cancer took my grandma who had raised me. It broke me. I didn’t have counselling. Instead, struggling to cope with my grief & upset, I took measures into my own hands & naively overdosed on a handful of tablets from a school friend who told me it would numb the pain. Two years later & desperate for stability I clung to the wrong guy at uni & ended up isolated in an abusive relationship. If it wasn’t for a friend who clocked my hidden bruises & helped me pack my bags, I can’t even imagine. I buried this awful episode but subconsciously it affected my trust in people. My career became a cover but beneath the charade of success this heavy feeling remained. Overwhelmed with dreading the worst. I hid behind acting roles & photoshoots as my armour. Then in 2009 I got the worst phone call of my life. My best friend had taken her own life. I remember falling to the floor & the room spinning. The shock was so bad I thought my heart was going to physically break. I became even more anxious & defensive. I had all the debilitating symptoms: Panic, distress, irrationality, irritability, sweating, nausea, insomnia, fear, paranoia, insecurity, stress, chest pain, jaw tension, impulsiveness, defensiveness. In 2018 I had to put my pride aside & ask for help. I was diagnosed with PTSD & Panic Disorder. I’m now on medication & I see a specialist for EMDR & CBT therapy. I feel like I’m finally coming up for air. I now pause before reacting. I look to myself before others. I reframe. So many are misunderstood because of their mental struggles. Life breaks some of us more than others & it’s down to us to put our pieces back together but we can’t do that alone. We aren’t lost, crazy, weird or toxic, we’re injured. But mental injuries don’t mend on their own. Please, if this is you, talk to your doctor.💛 #mentalhealth

A post shared by Rox (@roxannepallettofficial) on

Pallett, 36, started by saying: “I want to open up about some things you may not know, as I’ve found there’s a lot of judgement out there with little knowledge when it comes to the story behind the character – so here’s mine.

“I was 16 when our family home went up in flames. It was traumatic to be trapped inside a burning house.

“Losing our home & all our belongings was one thing, but months later, cancer took my grandma who had raised me.

“It broke me. I didn’t have counselling.

“Instead, struggling to cope with my grief & upset, I took measures into my own hands & naively overdosed on a handful of tablets from a school friend who told me it would numb the pain.

“Two years later & desperate for stability I clung to the wrong guy at uni & ended up isolated in an abusive relationship. If it wasn’t for a friend who clocked my hidden bruises & helped me pack my bags, I can’t even imagine.

“I buried this awful episode but subconsciously it affected my trust in people.

“My career became a cover but beneath the charade of success this heavy feeling remained. Overwhelmed with dreading the worst. I hid behind acting roles & photoshoots as my armour.

View this post on Instagram

“I keep a close watch on this heart of mine...” 🖤 #JohnnyCash

A post shared by Rox (@roxannepallettofficial) on

“Then in 2009 I got the worst phone call of my life.

“My best friend had taken her own life. I remember falling to the floor & the room spinning. The shock was so bad I thought my heart was going to physically break.

“I became even more anxious & defensive. I had all the debilitating symptoms: Panic, distress, irrationality, irritability, sweating, nausea, insomnia, fear, paranoia, insecurity, stress, chest pain, jaw tension, impulsiveness, defensiveness.”

Pallett said she put aside her pride and sought help in 2018, the year she appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.

“I was diagnosed with PTSD & Panic Disorder,” she said.

“I’m now on medication & I see a specialist for EMDR & CBT therapy.

“I feel like I’m finally coming up for air. I now pause before reacting.

“I look to myself before others. I reframe.”

The former Emmerdale actress urged others having problems to seek help too.

“So many are misunderstood because of their mental struggles,” she said.

“Life breaks some of us more than others & it’s down to us to put our pieces back together but we can’t do that alone.

Life breaks some of us more than others & it’s down to us to put our pieces back together but we can’t do that alone - Roxanne Pallett

“We aren’t lost, crazy, weird or toxic, we’re injured.

“But mental injuries don’t mend on their own.

“Please, if this is you, talk to your doctor. #mentalhealth.”

PA

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