Yolanda Hadid “wished to die” at the height of her Lyme disease battle.

Yolanda Hadid

Yolanda Hadid

The ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ alum – who is the mother of models Gigi, Bella, and Anwar Hadid – has been battling the illness, which is an infection caught from the bite of an infected tick, for over a decade, and has opened up on the ways in which her fight has impacted her mental health.

She explained: “Like with many chronic diseases and mental health issues, the unfortunate truth is that you appear to be healthy on the outside, which is difficult for people to reconcile. It’s much easier for us to have compassion for somebody with visible external symptoms. Most people still don’t seem to believe that chronic Lyme disease even exists. As the saying goes: You don’t truly get it until you get it.

“I can’t begin to describe the darkness, the pain, and the hell I lived through every day. For some time, it didn’t even feel like living at all. This disease brought me to my knees. Many nights I wished to die, and prayed I would just be free of the pain.”

And Yolanda credits her children – of whom two, Bella and Anwar, also have Lyme disease – with saving her life.

She added: “If it weren’t for my children, I don’t think I would be here today. It’s so important we learn to listen to people, as many of us are suffering in silence. We should learn not to judge how somebody feels by the way they look on the outside.”

Despite her struggle taking its toll on her mental health, Yolanda is “grateful for every moment” she gets to spend with her loved ones, and said her diagnosis “taught [her] a lot about life”.

She said: “My diagnosis taught me a lot about life; about how much patience and dedication are needed in order to survive. My ‘new normal’ is much slower and more in tune with who I am. I’ve also learned to love my authentic self with all my imperfections. I’m grateful for every moment I get to spend on this planet with family and friends. Looking back, all those difficult times in my life were blessings in disguise.”

And the blonde beauty also sent her “compassion and respect” to anyone else currently battling Lyme disease.

She told British Vogue magazine: “My heart is filled with compassion and respect for each and every person courageously battling this life-altering disease. Remember: you are not alone. We must continue to fight this, together, one day at a time until a cure is found that is both accessible and affordable to all.”