Becoming Mum: Sheridan Smith reveals mental health fears

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Becoming Mum: Sheridan Smith reveals mental health fears

Sheridan Smith fought back tears as she revealed her fears over her past mental health issues returning in a new clip from her documentary, Becomin

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Sheridan Smith fought back tears as she revealed her fears over her past mental health issues returning in a new clip from her documentary, Becoming Mum.

The then-pregnant star, 39, who welcomed son Billy with fiancé  Jamie Horn in May, became visibly emotional as she said pregnancy had given her a ‘second chance at life’ in a new clip from the show which follows her journey to motherhood.

She said: ‘No-one knows really what’s going on behind it all. The biggest worry, you’ve had mental health issues in the past, will it rear its ugly head again? 

Road to motherhood: Sheridan Smith fought back tears as she revealed her fears over her past mental health issues returning in a new clip from her documentary, Becoming Mum

Road to motherhood: Sheridan Smith fought back tears as she revealed her fears over her past mental health issues returning in a new clip from her documentary, Becoming Mum

‘Now I’m pregnant it feels like I’ve got a second chance at life. 

‘Having a baby never crossed my mind until I met Jamie. I love him so much. He’s so brilliant. He’s going to be a great dad. I just hope I’m a good mumI just hope I’m a good mum,.’ 

Sheridan said she wants to help other women who worry about their mental health issues resurfacing in pregnancy.

She said: ‘The bigger jobs that you get, if you doubt yourself internally, then you constantly think that you are not as good as they think you are. 

Devoted parents: The then-pregnant star, 39, who welcomed son Billy with fiancé Jamie Horn in May, became visibly emotional as she said pregnancy had given her a 'second chance at life'

Devoted parents: The then-pregnant star, 39, who welcomed son Billy with fiancé Jamie Horn in May, became visibly emotional as she said pregnancy had given her a ‘second chance at life’

‘And then my Dad died and I think maybe things that I hadn’t dealt with caused the big explosion, mentally…It was like a bomb went off in my head…Now I feel like I’ve got a second chance at life. 

‘It’s such a huge thing to have a baby. I would hate for the wheels to come off during pregnancy or post pregnancy. There are so many women out there who feel the same as me, who are just as scared as me, and we need to go and get some answers.’ 

‘At the start of my pregnancy, I’d just got myself to a good place and I thought, ‘Please don’t let this be a turning point where things change for me. That was my biggest worry,’ she said.

Sheridan stopped taking her medication while she was pregnant as she was ‘constantly worried’ about how it would affect Billy, but she went back on them after her doctor recommended she do so. 

She said: 'No-one knows really what's going on behind it all. The biggest worry, you've had mental health issues in the past, will it rear its ugly head again?

She said: ‘No-one knows really what’s going on behind it all. The biggest worry, you’ve had mental health issues in the past, will it rear its ugly head again?

She said: ‘I’ve still got these underlying issues so I went back on the medication and that was the right thing to do, but I constantly worried it is going to affect the baby, feeling really selfish, guilty, feeling shame and not knowing who to talk to about it.’ 

The actress had an emergency caesarean when her baby arrived early this summer, while the country was in lockdown. 

Cameras followed the star as she attended her first scans, pre-natal classes and sessions with a specialist therapist Dr Alain Gregoire, as well as at home with Jamie. 

The teaser also shows Sheridan and Jamie picking up ‘Little Man’ baby clothes for their son, the actress attending a mother and baby group and hearing her baby’s heartbeat at a scan.  

Success story: The star was seen on a country stroll with Jamie as she said: 'I just hope I'm a good mum'

Success story: The star was seen on a country stroll with Jamie as she said: ‘I just hope I’m a good mum’

With eight weeks to go until the birth, Sheridan decides to explore therapy further and attends an emotional session with a therapist to help her vocalise what might be triggering her anxiety and harsh self-criticism.

The documentary also sees the star cope with lockdown in the UK and being pregnant during a pandemic, with Sheridan saying:‘I feel like I’ve taken loads of steps back in my personal journey…It’s quite a scary time for pregnant ladies at the minute.’  

 ‘Being in lockdown has taught me a really good lesson. You’ve got to be okay with being on your own and being in your own head, because I’m going to be a mum. He will come first in my world. 

‘Everything will be about him but it’s important that we take care of our own mental health too…it’s going to be amazing and it’s going to be life-changing. I’m going to have a baby!’  

Discussing the first weeks of her baby’s life, she continued: ‘We did the first seven weeks of his life in lockdown and we had no-one else. 

‘But it was a blessing in a way because you would normally lean on the grandparents and get help and because he came early and was so tiny, I think I would have just said, ‘Argh – everyone help me!’. 

Getting the practice in: The teaser also shows Sheridan and Jamie picking up 'Little Man' baby clothes for their son, the actress attending a mother and baby group and hearing her baby's heartbeat at a scan

Getting the practice in: The teaser also shows Sheridan and Jamie picking up ‘Little Man’ baby clothes for their son, the actress attending a mother and baby group and hearing her baby’s heartbeat at a scan

‘But we were on our own and just had to get on with it and were thrown in at the deep end. And now he’s thriving and he’s like a real little chunky monkey, and the fact we’ve achieved that and we’ve got him to three months and he’s thriving, he’s healthy, the paediatrician’s thrilled with him. 

‘So that first anxiety, of, ‘Oh my god, he’s come early, in lockdown, with no antenatal, no help, no-one could come’, all that worry is suddenly gone. I mean I’m sure down the line there will be difficult days and more worry but we both feel really proud. 

‘We’re really proud of ourselves. To see him smiling back and see that he’s happy and healthy, you can’t put it into words. 

‘For me at the start of my pregnancy, I’d just got myself to a good place and I thought, ‘Please don’t let this be a turning point where things change for me’.   

Everyday life: Cameras followed the star as she attended her first scans, pre-natal classes and sessions with a specialist therapist Dr Alain Gregoire, as well as at home with Jamie

Everyday life: Cameras followed the star as she attended her first scans, pre-natal classes and sessions with a specialist therapist Dr Alain Gregoire, as well as at home with Jamie

She continued: ‘It’s the best feeling in the world! I’d kind of been told that by people but I actually never thought I was maternal, even though I’ve always had animals… 

‘Everyone said motherhood will change your life but I guess I just hadn’t thought about it until it happened and then when I saw him, I mean there are no words that could explain that bond, that connection.

‘Just recently he’s started smiling and Jamie and I were saying, because my son came early and I ended up having an emergency caesarean, but the day he smiled at me was more amazing and emotional even than the day he was born, because you suddenly think, ‘Oh my god – you love me back!’ 

‘Suddenly all those sleepless nights and all that worry goes out the window. You look in those little eyes and the love you feel, it’s like a connection I’ve never felt and thank god I’ve done it. 

‘I mean I’ve left it later in life but I think it’s probably the right thing and I wasn’t ready before, 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 when I look in his eyes, it’s just incredible. 

The star also credited Jamie for helping with her mental health and said: ‘What helped me the most, and it will be different for everyone, but I know from a personal point of view that I tend to shut down slightly and not say what I’m feeling. 

Tragic loss: Sheridan has been incredibly open about her struggles with mental health following the death of her father Colin in 2016 (pictured together in 2011)

Tragic loss: Sheridan has been incredibly open about her struggles with mental health following the death of her father Colin in 2016 (pictured together in 2011)

‘Luckily I have Jamie now who has learnt that and knows that but some people might not have someone there to do that. 

‘What I’ve learnt during this documentary is that the worse thing you can do is to close off. I mean, I was even filmed going to a therapy session, which I’d always been a bit anti about, personally, because – I know it sounds weird as an actor – but I don’t like talking about myself. I find it quite hard. 

‘I’m fine talking about a project or a job but I’ve always found the thought of going to therapy a bit self-indulgent in a way. I don’t want to talk about myself all day, people have got it a lot worse than me – all those classic things. 

‘And I think a lot of people feel that way. But what I’ve learnt is that it is okay not to be okay, you can reach out and get help. 

‘I know it’s terrifying to do because I find it terrifying, but even if it’s not with the people you love, do it secretly, with a charity, they’ve got your best interests at heart and they are there wanting to help. It’s anonymous. 

‘You don’t need to feel ashamed or guilty or all these horrible feelings I have felt too, like you think you’re not good enough. It’s okay to need help. I think that’s all I could advise. 

Adorable: Sheridan welcomed the couple's baby boy Billy in May

Adorable: Sheridan welcomed the couple’s baby boy Billy in May 

‘I just hope this documentary will show that and if it helps just one person then my god, I’m so glad I’ve done it. 

Branding Jamie her ‘rock’, she added: ‘It’s really since I met Jamie that I started on my road to recovery. 

‘And also hard for him because if you don’t have experience of it, you have to learn quickly and he’s been reading up on mental health and knowing how to deal with someone who’s had those issues in the past. 

‘He knows me better than I know myself now. He knows if I’m getting anxious. He can read me so well. So that support is amazing. I mean I take my hat off to single mums out there. I don’t know how I could have done it. I’m very lucky.  

‘Also, I’m back working at the moment and he’s doing Daddy day care while I’m on set filming. Which is great so that I won’t miss out. I’m very lucky in that respect because it’s nice to be back at work as well. 

Date night: The actress and her fiancé Jamie Horn were seen enjoying a romantic evening together earlier this month for the first time in three months after welcoming their son

Date night: The actress and her fiancé Jamie Horn were seen enjoying a romantic evening together earlier this month for the first time in three months after welcoming their son

‘So I mean, I’m in great place thank goodness, I feel like I’ve come out the other side and been given a great opportunity and having Billy – I can’t explain the feeling of contentment in myself that I’ve never felt before. 

‘Now I’ve got him, it’s like he’s my world. And you stop being so selfish and maybe worrying about things that don’t mean that much. It’s all about him now. 

Sheridan has been incredibly open about her struggles with mental health following the death of her father Colin in 2016. 

Sheridan’s eldest brother Julian was diagnosed with cancer in childhood and tragically died aged just 18 in 1990.

In the documentary Sheridan remembers how she performed songs and danced to entertain him when he was unwell.  

Her rock: The star also credited Jamie for helping with her mental health (pictured March 2020)

Her rock: The star also credited Jamie for helping with her mental health (pictured March 2020)

In further clips from the show, Sheridan revealed she was rushed to hospital and had five seizures after she stopped taking anti-anxiety medication back in 2016 following a jibe Graham Norton made about her.

The actress made the revelation on Becoming Mum, and admitted she felt ‘humiliated’ after TV BAFTAs host Norton made a joke about her ‘being drunk’ during the ceremony.   

The West End star revealed she ‘went off the deep end’ after she was nominated for her performance in The C Word at the event.  

Speaking on the programme she recalled the incident, as she said: ‘Graham Norton was hosting and made a joke at my expense about me being a drunk…

‘I was so humiliated. It’s a room full of your peers, people you want to work with or have worked with. That night, for me, was like the final straw before my brain totally went off the deep end.’ 

She added: ‘What people didn’t realise is that I’d become addicted to anti-anxiety tablets.  

‘That night I took myself off to a hotel on my own. In my crazy mind, I thought, ‘I’ll do it (stop taking the tablets) myself’.

‘I went there and just stopped my tablets. Weirdly, a friend of mine had rung me and she came to the hotel.

‘It’s a miracle she did. It’s like someone was looking out for me because what I didn’t realise is that if you stop these tablets abruptly, you seizure.

‘I seizured five times and got rushed to A&E and she’s the one who got me breathing again.’

MailOnline has contacted Graham Norton’s representatives for comment.     

Last year, Sheridan revealed she’s gone teetotal after a string of public meltdowns in the wake of her father’s death.

In 2018, Sheridan admitted she ‘lost the plot and had a massive meltdown’ when her anxiety ‘snowballed’ after her father’s death. 

Sheridan has ‘always’ struggled with anxiety, but previously admitted her battle ‘snowballed’ following Colin’s death.

She said: ‘I’d been performing anyway leading up to that, 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. 

‘I want to say ‘It’s OK not to be OK’ because I didn’t speak about it and then it snowballed and it came to this huge head.’ 

Sheridan’s grief caused her to cancel her appearance in the musical production Funny Girl, which she ‘hated’ having to do.

She explained: ‘It was the worst thing, I hate it and I always think, ‘The show must go on’ and I hate letting anyone down but I think the public understood in a way that you can’t choose when these things happen.  

‘It was a gradual build up when my dad got diagnosed and I just couldn’t continue, I lost my mind, I completely did to the point where people were stopping me in the street and cuddling me because people understand that, it’s just life. 

‘Unfortunately you can’t just take time off from a show, you get a lot of abuse so that’s what happened.’ 

The actress made the decision to quit alcohol as she ‘fell apart completely’ following years of offstage troubles.    

Sheridan met fiance Jamie on mobile dating app Tinder in 2018, and he has proved to be her biggest champion        

ITV special Sheridan Smith: Becoming Mum is set to air on ITV on September 1  at 9pm.

Meant to be: Sheridan met fiance Jamie on mobile dating app Tinder in 2018, and he has proved to be her biggest champion (pictured December 2019)

Meant to be: Sheridan met fiance Jamie on mobile dating app Tinder in 2018, and he has proved to be her biggest champion (pictured December 2019)

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