Sheridan Smith opens up about mental health struggles

Actress and West End star Sheridan Smith has opened up about her mental health struggles, revealing she was 'wrongly diagnosed for years'.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast earlier this week, Sheridan said: "It's taken me years to get to a place where I felt like I could own it and then say it. It was speculated that I was struggling.

"There were different doctors giving me different medication – but I'm finally in a good place. It took a massive thing to actually say 'I'm struggling and I need help'. So I understand it is hard for people.

"Eventually, I opened up to family members. People could see I was gradually declining and struggling."

And, after finally receiving the right treatment, Sheridan says that she's now in 'a good place'.

"After years of going on different medication and being wrongly diagnosed, I've got the right doctor now and I'm in a great place. It's perseverance but you do get there."

Sheridan stars in new movie The More You Ignore Me, written by comedian Jo Brand, in which she plays a mother struggling with schizophrenia.

"It's a hot topic at the moment and very important, so I'm thrilled to be part of it," Sheridan said. "We have come a long way but I think we can go further."

In 2016 Sheridan pulled out of a number of performances of West End musical Funny Girl, following the diagnosis and later death of her father.

Speaking candidly about that time of her life during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show last November, Sheridan said: "It was a gradual build-up when my dad got diagnosed and I just couldn't continue, I lost my mind.

"I'd been performing anyway leading up to [my father's death], and I've always had a bit of anxiety, and so I was a little bit nervous but the catalyst of it all was my dad.

"Now I'm in a better place. I want to say, 'It's okay not to be okay' because I didn't speak about it and then it snowballed and it came to this huge head."

The More You Ignore Me is out in UK cinemas now


We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.