Denise Welch: I Couldn't Speak During Terrifying Episode

By Cara Dudgeon

19th June 2020

Denise Welch was unable to speak during a “terrifying” depressive episode

Image Source/ Chronicle Live

The 62-year-old actress has spoken openly about her mental health, and now she has shared one of her “most terrifying moments” in her 31-year battle with depression.

According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, in an extract from her new book, The Unwelcome Visitor: Depression and How I Survived It, Denise recalled:

‘I started to feel pins and needles all through my body. My hands tensed up and I couldn’t move my fingers. My mouth twisted to one side, I couldn’t speak.

‘My body was out of my control. It was probably one of the most terrifying moments of my life’.

The episode had doctors suggesting the Loose Women star should undergo electroconvulsive therapy – a procedure which sees electric currents sent to the brain to reverse symptoms of mental illnesses.

She said:

‘My depression was so bad that ECT was the next step. I had never imagined my mind could have so much power over my body’.

Denise has released her new book after she shared a depressive episode with fans on social media in September when she went to visit her sister.

She could feel a wave of depression – which she refers to as her “unwelcome visitor” – taking over her as she was travelling, and began to record her experience to help others understand mental health.

She said:

‘I’d been travelling to the North East to visit my sister Debra. But by the time we reached the Angel of the North I knew my visitor was on his way. As always happens, I get a metallic taste in my mouth and a tingling in my palms and all the colour goes.

‘I went to bed, woke up next morning and he was still there. I picked up my phone and, instinctively, started to film myself’.

Denise’s vulnerability helped millions of people to finally understand their family’s mental health conditions, and she received thousands of “heartbreaking” messages.

She added:

‘I felt stripped bare and vulnerable, but I felt I had to show how it felt. I knew many people would already understand but hoped it might help others learn. But I never expected the reaction to my posts.

‘More than 1.5 million saw them and thousands sent me heartbreaking messages’.

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