Sheridan Smith was applauded for shining the spotlight on mental health issues in ITV documentary Becoming Mum, filmed as she prepared to give birth to her first child earlier in 2020.
The star of Cilla, The Big C and Gavin & Stacey has had a chequered relationship with the media and spoke honestly about her struggles with alcohol, prescription medication and anxiety.
Viewers watching Sheridan Smith: Becoming Mum praised her unflinching honesty when she spoke about her “life unravelling” and the night she quit anti-anxiety medication and had five seizures. Fortunately a friend intervened and rushed her to hospital.
Sheridan Smith, ITV on now, Becoming mum. Refreshing , honest and supportive insight about pregnancy and mental health. Well done Sheridan for highlighting the worries, anxieties and experiences of pregnant women. Xx
— therese mcsorley (@tzmcs) September 1, 2020
One viewer tweeted: “Every day is a struggle one way or another with anxiety and depression sometimes it’s hard to even get up and face the day.. But we are not alone and its good to see her sharing this message.”
Watching Sheridan Smith nailing mental health issues.. Every day is a struggle one way or another with anxiety and depression sometimes it's hard to even get up and face the day.. But we are not alone and its good to see her sharing this message #sheridansmith
— kez ✨ (@kezabelle_) September 1, 2020
Another developed a “whole different level of respect for her” after the documentary.
I’ve always liked Sheridan Smith as an actress and singer. Tonight I have a whole different level of respect for her. To bare your soul to anyone is hard when you have mental health issues, to do it on national television… respect hen!!
— Coopers Maw (@CoopersMaw) September 1, 2020
Smith gave birth to her son, Billy, in May with fiancé Jamie Horn.
She said: “It’s the best feeling in the world! I mean, I’ve left it later in life but I think it’s probably the right thing. I wasn’t ready before I met Jamie and now I’ve got this little family and I just feel – I can’t explain it – like a contentment, a calm.
“Maybe I was looking for something in the wrong places and now I feel like I’ve found it in this little boy.”
During Becoming Mum, Smith reflected on losing her big brother, Julian, aged 18, when she was eight: “I remember lots of happy memories of me and him, he was my big big brother and I really looked up to him.”
She continued: “I really vividly remember the night he died and all the screaming I tried to block it out… That is why I think therapy could have been good – as you hold onto stuff from childhood.”
The actress and singer also spoke about losing her father, Colin, in 2016 when she was appearing in her critically acclaimed performance in the musical Funny Girl in London’s West End.
She said: “My dad died and I think things that I hadn’t dealt with caused the big explosion, mentally. It was like a bomb went off in my head.”
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