Sharon Osbourne doesn't think she's a "strong woman".

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne

The 64-year-old matriarch believes people's perceptions of her are not entirely accurate as she's battled depression and spent years in treatment, and admitted she doesn't cope well with stress.

She told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "People think of me as this strong woman, but I don't know if that's true, because I suffer so badly from depression and have been in and out of treatment for years.

"So I think stress will always come out in some way: with the bulimia or the depression - and I even think maybe that's why I've had cancer twice. Because a person can't keep getting pounded mentally and it not come out."

The 'X Factor' judge - who has children Aimee, Kelly and Jack with husband Ozzy Osbourne - credits mood-stabilising medication for saving her life and helping her get herself back on track.

She said: "It's anti-depressants that have saved my life. Because they got me on an even keel mentally, and only then could I work on myself."

And Sharon wishes people were more open about having to take anti-depressants in order to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

She said: "You're not a nutter just because you take an anti-depressant. I've always told people that I'm on them because I want to show everyone and my kids that there's nothing wrong with them.

"Life is hard - harder than it was even 30 years ago. Everything is a fight and a competition, and as a woman you've got to be the cleverest, the quickest and the most beautiful now.

"People need some sort of release. So if you can take a pill that keeps you calm and keeps your head from feeling like it's going to burst, great."

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