'I just thought, 'Oh my God, it's got a name.''
Mel C is the newest celebrity to open up about her personal battles with depression. On an episode of Bryony Gordon’s Mad World Podcast, she talked about how her struggle to become the ‘perfect’ pop star tore her apart emotionally and physically.
Mel C – who is perhaps better known as Sporty Spice – said, ‘[Spice Girls] was a fairytale, and it was something that I’d always wanted. I think when you’re young and you have these dreams and aspirations, you don’t really think of the negatives, and everything has a negative.’
The Spice Girls became an overnight sensation when Wannabe dropped back in 1996, catapulting her alongside Victoria Beckham, Geri Halliwell and Emma Bunton into the public eye. With great fame comes great scrutiny however and she talked about how she didn’t feel worthy of her celebrity, which contributed to her depression and expressed itself in the form of an eating disorder.
She said, ‘I’d never starved myself, but I wasn’t eating properly and I was exercising obsessively and all of my time with the Spice Girls I think I was probably living on adrenaline, God only knows how I got through it and I think my body just got to the point where it was like – enough.’
It was only after a particularly difficult family holiday in 2000 that she finally sought the professional help she needed for her condition.
‘Literally my thoughts were ‘I’m losing it, I’m going mad, I can’t cope.’ So when I got home, I went to my GP and for the first time ever I said out loud what was going on with me, and he said ‘OK, well the first thing we need to address is your depression’, and this huge weight was lifted from my shoulders,’ she explained.
While her mental health has improved following a regimen of therapy, anti-depressants and acupuncture, Mel revealed that sometimes it isn’t enough. In 2012, following the breakdown of her decade long relationship with Thomas Starr, she entered a deep state of depression.
She explained, ‘Sometimes you can do all the right things but it doesn’t matter.’
She strongly urged those battling mental health problems to reach out to others for help – whether they be family, friends or professionals.
Speaking of her own experience and the moment of her diagnosis, she said, ‘I felt so relieved because I just thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s got a name. It’s something, I can be helped.’ You know, it was such a relief to me.’
For those struggling with mental health issues, the Samaritans provide 24/7 support on their hotline 116 123 and can also be emailed at jo@.