Alastair Campbell addresses painful moment partner said he was impossible to live with
Starmer and Labour ‘has to go for jugular’ says Campbell
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Good Morning Britain presenter Alastair Campbell has reflected on the “painful” moment his wife told his therapist that he was “impossible” to live with. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the newsreader, 64, candidly opened up about his battle with depression while addressing how his family were impacted by his mental health.
It was painful at times
Reflecting on his struggles with depression, the former political strategist frankly told how it had affected his relationship with his family.
The star explained that his therapist was able to help his partner Fiona Millar and their three children understand his mental health issues.
He said: “One of the best things my psychiatrist ever did was fairly early on, after about six months, nine months, a year, he realised that so much of what I was talking about related to family and the importance of my family.
“He said, ‘It’s really important I meet Fiona and the children.'”
Alastair went to a session with his wife and two children, but admitted that it was “painful” at times to hear them talk about him.
He explained: “So I took them along and it was painful at times when you hear your own partner say that you can be impossible to live with and talk about really bad incidents where I’ve not been terribly supportive.”
He also candidly spoke about having his children Grace, Rory and Calumn Campbell, who also reflected on watching their father suffer with depression.
Speaking about having his children in the sessions, he said: “[It was painful] to have your kids come along and say, ‘It isn’t easy being his kid, there were times at school when other kids would pick up on stuff in the papers or he wasn’t there,’ or whatever.”
Reflecting on the state of his mental health during the Covid pandemic, the political strategist said he had been coping quite well in general.
Alastair said: “It’s been not bad, up and down, but generally quite good.
“I published my book on depression [Living Better: How I Learned to Survive Depression] which was a bestseller, so that was good.”
However, the former Labour press secretary candidly said that he did experience some deterioration in his mental health.
He went on: “I think I’ve handled it quite well, but the truth is since the start of Covid, I’ve probably had about four or five depressive episodes.
“One of them [was] really bad when I was actually quite suicidal,” Alastair added.
“Not related to Covid, I don’t think, at all, I just think it was kind of – whatever.”
He continued: “I’ve also had a couple of manic episodes as well.”
Despite struggling with his mental health, the political strategist said that his issues highlighted the importance of maintaining relationships in his life.
He continued: “One of the key things – and probably the most important thing that I’ve understood, and it took me a long time to get there – is you really have to work on the most important relationships in your life.
“What was interesting about lockdown is that it was an amazing feeling to realise, ‘Do you know what? I quite like being with Fiona [his partner] all the time’.
Recently, Alastair joined forces with Danny Gray, founder of male make-up brand War Paint for Men to revolutionise mental health support.
The writer features on the website Just Ask A Question, which sees him answer questions about his battle with depression in an interactive experience.
Speaking about JAAQ, Aastair said: “It feels like you’re having a proper conversation but your conscious mind knows who I am.
“It’s like you’re having a conversation in secret, but you can offload an awful lot of stuff and get something back.”
If you need support or advice, you can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123.
The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year. You can also contact Samaritans by emailing [email protected]
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