Sky Sports star Simon Thomas has said he contemplated suicide before his wife’s death after the couple suffered a painful miscarriage.
The TV presenter has written an emotional blog post about the depression he experienced after his wife Gemma lost a baby after undergoing IVF.
He said they had been desperate for a brother or sister for their son Ethan and he was left “angry, disappointed and bitter” after the miscarriage.
He wrote: “Until this point I had never had depression. I didn’t really know what it was, I thought it was something they labelled people when they felt a bit down.
“As the days and weeks went on after Gemma’s miscarriage I became more and more detached from what was going on around us. I struggled to be around close friends.”
The former Blue Peter star said he found their local church a painful place to be and struggled to get out of bed.
He wrote: “Gemma knew (obviously) and some of my closest friends, but mostly I faced this new battle alone, unable to admit to, or talk about the depression that had taken a grip on my life.
“I felt totally cut off from the world around me. It was like being in a parallel universe – life carries on as normal around you and you’re part of it, yet you feel totally cut off from it. You’re in the world but not of the world.”
Thomas said he contemplated taking his life after going for Christmas drinks with friends.
He said: “As we walked home that night I felt like the pit I was in had reached a deeper, more sinister depth. As my friends walked ahead of me a new and frightening thought entered my head – I wanted to end my life.”
He said he started to feel better after weeks of medication, counselling and talking with his wife and close friends but in September 2017 the depression resurfaced, teamed with a crippling anxiety.
The presenter described struggling to get through a live show before adding: “Five days later I had another panic attack at home and never made it to work.”
Just weeks later his wife was diagnosed with blood cancer and died three days later.
He wrote: “I am grieving; it’s the most painful, brutal and lonely experience I have ever been through. But I know from hearing the stories of others, is that what I have been through is the life narrative for so many, and in particular men, but us men are rubbish at even beginning to whisper those fears and articulate what is actually an illness.
“I didn’t choose to feel a nervous wreck back in September. I didn’t decide work was more than I could handle, the only thing I chose was to walk out the studio that day and find solace in the loving and encouraging words of my wife.
“Now I find myself confused and fearful. I’m grieving my dear wife but at times also questioning where on earth I’m at with all the stuff I had battled with before.”
He added: “For those reading this who understand – don’t suffer in silence. Like me, remember, you didn’t choose to be this way.
“Don’t sit on and bury the uncomfortable murmurings of mental illness – talk. Talk to your other half.
“Talk to those friends you trust, try and open your heart and your mind and allow the soothing balm of openness to begin to heal.”