Frankie Bridge initially found it hard to admit she had depression.

Frankie Bridge

Frankie Bridge

The former Saturdays singer has been open about her mental health struggles in recent years, but Frankie concedes that she was, at first, unwilling to accept her depression - even after being diagnosed by a doctor.

Frankie shared: "As a child, I was prone to overthinking, but I thought it was just my personality. It wasn't until an intense period of touring with The Saturdays in 2011 that I broke down to my doctor.

"When he used the words 'depression' and 'anxiety', I didn't want to hear them - he might as well have called me crazy. I started therapy but, a year in, when I hadn't noticed much of a difference, my therapist suggested I start taking antidepressants.

"I was putting everything into trying to convince everyone I was fine. Before entering a room, I'd take a deep breath and say to myself: 'How would Frankie from The Saturdays behave?' I'd be louder, bubblier, happier.'"

Frankie, 28 - who has sons Carter, two, and Parker, four, with her retired soccer star husband Wayne Bridge - ultimately found it impossible to keep pretending to be happy when she wasn't.

Speaking to Women's Health magazine, the singer recalled: "One day, in October 2011, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably when my boyfriend [now husband], Wayne, bought the wrong yoghurt. I felt sure it meant he didn't know who I was.

"I'd found the man I wanted to have children with, but I felt like I couldn't become a mum until I was well. On my doctor's advice, I went into hospital. I had visions of padded rooms and locked doors, but I felt at home there. Chatting to other men and women on my ward, I realised I wasn't alone.

"But that four-week spell as a patient was no magic cure - there's no such thing. Desperate to get back to performing, I pushed myself too hard and ended up having a panic attack in rehearsals. My bandmates were frightened but it taught me how important it is to open up about my mental health to those around me."

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