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TV host Fern's support for suicide victims as she battles depression

TV host Fern Britton, who has battled depression, believes people who commit suicide are "brave" when she is in the "pit" of despair, she has revealed.

The former This Morning star (53), who has taken anti-depressants for several years, described feeling in her darkest moments that she might as well "vanish".

Britton told the Radio Times magazine that she was "completely under control at the moment". But she said: "I take a small dose (of anti-depressants) every day and have done for more than five years. To me it's like a diabetic taking insulin -- it tops up my brain and it works."

The mother-of-four, who took a mild overdose of paracetamol when she was in her 20s, said she had not suffered from "episodes" . . . "for a long time now".

But she added: "When you are in the pit, it's very, very hard . . . That half-sane part of you is saying, 'I have so much to look forward to, so much to be thankful for' but you don't feel any of it because you have so little impact on anything that you may as well vanish.

"It's a terrible thing. When I hear that people have taken their own lives, I actually think 'how very, very brave'.

"I can also understand people left behind saying 'how selfish', but for the person who has been in such mental torture, the bravery of doing that -- and the secrecy -- is . . . well I don't say it's admirable, but I understand it."





Children

Despite former British prime minister Tony Blair telling Britton in a BBC interview that he believed it would still have been right to invade Iraq if it was known at the time that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, the TV host insisted she is "no Jeremy Paxman".

She added: "When I say I'm no Jeremy Paxman -- well he's an academic and understands politics inside out, while I come at it from being a working woman with children who uses the system."

hnews@herald