Martine's life has been 'hell' for seven years

Martine McCutcheon has revealed that she’s been battling a chronic illness that left her barely able to move for months – and which caused her to contemplate suicide.

The former EastEnders actress started feeling unwell in 2007 after suffering from dizziness and severe tiredness and she even passed out on many occasions, causing her to become housebound.

Doctors struggled to identify the cause of Martine’s problem but when she was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome ME the lack of help left her feeling vulnerable.

I was relieved at first because I had an answer,’ says Martine, 37.

But there weren’t many people with solutions. That was scary when I was in a wheelchair or couldn’t shower on my own.

I was totally reliant on everyone else. It was a very dark place to be.’

Martine, who is married to musician Jack McManus, sank deeper into a depression and felt so low that she often wanted to end her life.

I don’t know if the ME or depression came first, all I knew was life felt like hell every day,’ the actress tells The Sun.

The longest I went without leaving the house was a month. I didn’t want to see or speak to anyone. I couldn’t cope with everyday things, even feeding my dog.

The low point was when I was on the sofa and could not move. I felt suicidal and scared about the future if I was going to stay as I was.

I spent day after day for months not being able to move, feeling like I was a burden to everybody. I did think it would be better if I just didn’t wake up. I was serious.’

SEE PICTURES Martine McCutcheon and Jack McManus in Celebrity Weddings 2012

SEE PICTURES Martine McCutcheon‘s new curves – the truth

SEE PICTURES Martine McCutcheon oozes specs appeal at London charity event with Gok Wan

Anna Francis