Fearne Cotton on being diagnosed with depression: “I was holding on for dear life”

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Kayleigh Dray
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It’s easy to look at women in the spotlight and assume that they are living a perfectly happy life: they look glamorous and confident on the red carpet, they have their careers firmly in hand and their social media feeds are usually flooded with happy ‘insta-perfect’ pictures.

However, as is so often the case, you can never truly know what someone is truly going through behind closed doors.

Mental health is an issue that affects many of us, but women in particular can be vulnerable to issues: the most recent figures from the NHS show that one in five women in the UK have reported a mental illness in recent years, compared to one in eight men.

Yet, despite this, there continues to be a stigma surrounding mental health. Many feel forced to conform to the social media narrative of perfection, to ‘man up’ and to present a version of themselves to the world that they feel will be accepted.

Thank goodness, then, for those in the public eye who have chosen to be open about their own battles with mental wellness, helping pave the way to a better understanding of the issues faced by so many.

Following in the footsteps of Selena GomezDemi Lovato and Ellie Goulding, Fearne Cotton has opened up about her own depression diagnosis.

“There might be assumptions made that if you are on TV or have experienced a certain journey in life then you should be immune to depression or sorrow,” she wrote in a piece for Glamour, before going on to insist that this absolutely is not the case.

The TV presenter and DJ went on to explain that she tries to focus on the small things in life, finding happiness wherever she can find it.

“I learned to embrace what I was going through, hold on for dear life and to find another way," said Cotton. “To me the only things that make a true impact on my own happiness are who I'm surrounded by, how much I let seemingly stressful events affect me and how I spend my time.

“Simple pleasures like being with my family, getting out in the fresh air, eating healthy food and music are all small things that impact my happiness daily. For me it's all about those small steps in the right direction rather than huge leaps where there are no guarantees.”

Cotton added: “These days I know what works for me, I'm calmer and indeed happier on a daily basis.”

The 35-year-old, who released a cookbook earlier this year called Cook Happy, Cook Healthy, is releasing a book in February simply titled Happy, which she hopes will inspire others to open up about their own mental health battles.

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Images: Rex pictures


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.