Stephanie Davis has opened up about her mental health struggle.
The Hollyoaks actress, who has played Sinead O’Connor in the Channel 4 soap since 2010, took to her social media to open up about her battle with mental health.
The mum-of-one uploaded a series of videos to her Instagram page that show her reading out a poem that she wrote when she was in the darkest days of her depression.
Speaking about her past struggle with depression to mark World Mental Health Day, which took place earlier this week, the soap star said to her 935,000 followers, “So today is World Mental Health Day. I suffer with my mental health, quite a few things actually. And I find this really nerve-wracking actually, I’m shaking, to talk about.”
She then revealed that she had previously contemplated suicide, saying, “I have suffered with suicidal thoughts, being suicidal and acting on it and I started writing a poem one night, just to get stuff off my head because my head’s always on the go, and started writing it out and I thought I’d read it to you.”
She then picked up her journal that contained the poem, reading, “When you’ve looked death in the eyes, nothing ever feels the same. How do you describe that crying side from the screaming inside of your brain?
“When I was asked how to describe it, the only thing I could say, staring into the abyss, someone’s flicked off a switch, no more light and no more bright days.
“How helpless it feels to be helpless. How painful it feels when those there don’t care. How could they not help me when all I needed was for them to be there?
“To scream out in pain, to cry uncontrollable tears, to hurt myself so much, my life, I didn’t care to be here. To get to that place of thinking that life isn’t for me anymore, that’s a scary place to get to, one I hope nobody has to endure.
“But the reason I wrote this poem is because I ended up fighting through,” continued the former Celebrity Big Brother star. “I thought that if I just spoke out then maybe I could help you too.
“I can’t say it was easy, but I can say I beat the pain. It wasn’t easy to wake up and fight the fight from the easy option of ending the game. I didn’t think I was worth it, but now I know I am. Other people’s actions don’t define the person I am.
“I thought I was a helpless case, a life that was bound to end. I had to start a relationship with myself, that I now call my friend.
“I cannot say I love myself, but I like myself enough to know that I am worth the fight, keep going and not give up.
“Don’t sit and suffer in silence, get yourself out the bed. Because with the right help, there’s a wonderful life ahead.”
After reading the poem, the soap star went on to open up about her feelings about her mental health, saying, “When I was feeling like that, the thing I kept saying over and over was like, ‘there’s a switch gone off in my head, there’s a light gone off in my head, the switch has gone off in my head,’ and I can’t describe how lonely that was and I was alone and I got through it alone and I had to fight it alone and that was probably the hardest thing, but I did it.
“Often our heads can trick us into thinking that the worst option is the best option. Suicide is permanent, it’s permanent. But if you fight the way you’re feeling, the feelings pass, they always pass.
“I know it doesn’t feel like that because I’ve thought that, you know, I’m screamed out like ‘this is never gonna pass, this is never gonna end,” and I can say that I have been in hell and I’ve got through it. It’s always a constant battle but I’ve got hope again.
“I thought I was a helpless case, like I said, so I hope that anybody that’s listening to this and they’re not in a good place, please reach out.
“To your mum, your dad, my family have been great with me, so great. Friends, I’ve got amazing friends. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger. And don’t think you’re a bad person, because I know I used to think I was a bad person. Because I thought it was a lot to do with the drink and then when I put that down I still couldn’t cope with life and I just couldn’t understand why.
“But I just felt exhausted at the end of the day, exhausted, just because of my head, let alone anything else going on in my life, and I understand now and I have answers and I got the right help and medication.
“You know, if you need that, take that. But don’t suffer in silence and to other people who are feeling okay, make sure they ask someone if they are okay and if someone needs your help don’t leave them, because you never know what could happen.”
She then finished, “Everyone be kind and spread the love and, you know, like I always say it’s okay not to be okay.”