TV presenter Jenny Powell appeared on ITV’s Loose Women to open up about her experiences suffering from postnatal depression following the birth of her second daughter Pollyanna.
After enjoying a career in the public eye in the 1990’s, presenting gameshow favourite Wheel of Fortune, she made the decision to take some time out from showbiz to focus on starting a family.
But speaking candidly on yesterday’s panel, Jenny admitted that there was more to her story than people knew, and that she’d suffered with crippling postnatal depression where she struggled to even get out of bed in the morning.
‘There was one morning in January where I woke up and thought, “I can’t feel my legs”,’ she told hosts Janet Street Porter, Nadia Sawalha, Stacey Solomon and Andrea McLean.
‘I thought, I can’t feel them because I don’t want to, because I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to be a mum. I just thought, “If I don’t do something for myself now, it’s going to be that downward spiral into the darkness”.’
The revelation was met by applause from the audience, and Andrea McLean, who has also been open about suffering with postnatal depression in the past, was keen to point out: ‘But with those in your support network, because they love you and you love them, sometimes you protect them from how dark your thoughts actually are. You need to speak to someone who’s removed.’
Of dealing with the illness, Jenny continued: ‘Something from somewhere made me realise that it is down to you. You have to dig deep – that’s all I’m saying.’
Acknowledging that people would have their ‘own opinions’ on her straight-forward approach, she added that ‘It was a big step. I made myself get out of bed that morning, and I think that if I hadn’t, I would have been in a much worse place.’
‘I just went downstairs, got on the computer and found the closest counselling service there was and I went straight away.’
Viewers on Twitter were quick to commend her for her honesty, with one supportive commenter writing: ‘Well done @JennyPowellTV for speaking out about the silent killer PND. I’ve been there and thankful had a GP who believed it existed.’