It's hard to believe that resolutely sunny and cheerful Emily Atack ever feels anything other than happy. But the refreshingly honest star exclusively reveals to OK! this week that, in fact, her smiles hide a secret sadness.
Her upcoming memoir, Are We There Yet? Reveals that Emily, 29, who found fame playing Charlotte Hinchcliffe in E4's The Inbetweeners, has always struggled with sadness.
"Often the most charismatic people have the worst internal struggles. If we don’t find a way to laugh at our struggles then we’ll cry," she exclusively tells us.
She also says: "I definitely have days where I struggle to get out of bed. Doesn’t everyone?’"
"I was a very sensitive little girl. A sad song would make me cry, or if someone was mean to another child at playgroup it would upset me," she explained.
"I was always very in tune with my emotions. I often cried on my birthdays or at Christmas as I worried so much about those days being over."
But it was the breakup of her first big relationship with boyfriend Jason that left Emily feeling so low that she turned to a therapist for help and was prescribed antidepressants by her doctor.
Matter of factly, she defends her decision to seek help for her struggles, saying: "If you’ve got tonsillitis you go and get antibiotics and it’s exactly the same for your mind.
"I started seeing my therapist towards the end of my relationship with Jason; I was also on strong antidepressants for a while."
Emily also reveals to us that she think it's part of her responsibility as a famous face in the public eye to be open and honest about her mental health struggles.
"I’ve never hidden the fact that I have therapy, we need to be much more open and honest about it. When you go to America, everyone’s talking about their therapists, which is why they’re all so happy!
"They’re not afraid to talk about their feelings and I can see why, as I love my therapy sessions – talking about myself for an hour without any judgment or baggage is a dream."
Emily goes on to tell us how after a three year period on medication she felt able to stop taking antidepressants, explaining: "I’m med-free now, hence the sobbing earlier!
"I used medication to get me out of bed in the morning during an incredibly tough time and to dry up my tears, but I’m not in that place any more. I was on them for three years on the advice of my doctor rather than my therapist.
"But I’m stronger now and the therapy has given me tools to cope with what life throws at me."
She also reveals her during her stint in the Australian outback in the I'm a Celeb jungle she was the happiest she's ever been.
Emily Atack – latest news
"The jungle was the best therapy for me. I’ll always be grateful for my time on the show – it came at just the right time for me and allowed me to really find myself.
"When you’re stripped bare of all the nonsense we now feel we need in our lives, like social media, it does prove that at heart we’re all kids.
"The jungle taught me to see the magic in the world again. My sister said it was the strangest thing to see the public fall in love with my freckly face when she knew it was there all along!"
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