Soap star Adam Rickitt has opened up on his mental health struggles and revealed he spent years wanting to end his own life.
The 42-year-old stars in Hollyoaks as Kyle Kelly and was previously known for playing Nick Tilsley in Coronation Street.
Kyle is set to be part of a mental health storyline, leading Rickitt to reflect on his own struggles with depression and anxiety.
During an appearance on Loose Women, the actor revealed he was “essentially suicidal” from the ages of 13 to 30.
Rickitt said: “It’s quite out there in the public forum that I had issues as a teenager with an eating disorder, but what I don’t think ever I’ve spoken about, or people have realised, is that actually my issues premeditated that and also went on a lot beyond that.
“I basically suffered from anxiety and depression from the ages of 13 to 30. So for 17 years of my life I was essentially suicidal. It comes in peaks and waves like it does for so many people, but still to this day the best portion of my adult life was spent suicidal.”
Rickitt recalled the moment he felt as though he had got a grip on his mental health problems, revealing he was working in New Zealand when his mother called him on his 30th birthday.
He said: “I was actually living in New Zealand, working on a TV show out there, and my mum rang me on my 30th birthday and she said, ‘What are you doing on your birthday?’ and I just burst into tears.
“And it was because I was just sat on my deck just reading a book. And it was the first time since I was 13 years old that I’d been able to be at peace in my own mind enough to actually just sit there and do nothing.”
Rickitt, who is leaving Hollyoaks, also shared advice for other men struggling with their mental health.
He said: “I always describe it to people, that your mental health is like a balloon. It gets blown up every single day a little bit… women are better than men because they talk and when they talk they let a little bit of air out.
“Men don’t tend to talk about these things so what tends to happen is that they’re inevitably going to explode.”
Loose Women is on weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV