The actor who has won the Best British Soap Award for Best Actor three times for his work in the ITV soap has had to encounter some private health battles of his own. Speaking candidly about his struggles with depression and anxiety, the star encouraged others to seek help if they find themselves struggling too.
Throughout the lockdown, the actor found himself dealing with some of the “worst moments,” crediting his partner Steph and pooch Gini for helping him get past the struggles.
The post read: “Truth is @stephjones1710 is the secret behind this black mirror of mine. She deserves the credit, entirely. We all show off our best moments on socials, never do we share the worst moments. But this girl has shared and carried some of the lowest points of my life over the last few months.”
Ending the post Danny wrote that Steph was “a light at the end of a very dark tunnel”.
Comparing himself to his character in Emmerdale, Danny praised the soap’s production team for “tipping their hats to mental health.” Allowing viewers to watch the character go through a mental health battle and talk about his feelings is something that actors could relate to.
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Talking about his illness he said: “Anxiety and depression grabs you and shakes you no matter who you are or what walk of life. And I hope you read this post (and yes you may cringe) and see the bigger picture. Talk to someone. And allow someone to love you and love them in return.
“And then, like me, hopefully, you too can see a genuine path to welcoming and dealing with the horrible, invisible illness that is anxiety and depression.”
He concluded with a touching message directly to his fans: “I hope you find that partner and that friend. Like me. And if you’re still reading this.. You’re doing great and I’m glad you exist.”
This is not the only time the actor has reached out to help victims of bad mental health. In June of this year the Metro reported that the star had helped save the life of a man suffering from PTSD who was preparing to jump from a bridge.
Danny approached the man, shared his number with him and talked him down. It was reported that by talking through his own experiences of mental health he was able to encourage the man to step down and the two then embraced in a hug.
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health conditions that people suffer with. In fact the Anxiety & Depression Association of America predicts that around 264 million people worldwide live with depression.
Experts from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) go further to state that 60 percent of people with anxiety also have symptoms of depression.
The reason for the two coexisting is because they are caused by similar factors including genetics, environmental factors and pain.
Dr Sally Connolly from Louisville, Kentucky said: “When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem and you feel bad about it. Then you feel like you’ve failed, and you move into depression.”
Similarly, she adds: “people who are depressed often feel anxious and worried, so one can trigger the other.”
How do I know I am suffering from anxiety or depression?
Common symptoms of depression include the following:
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed.
- Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
If you find yourself suffering with any of the above symptoms, it is crucial to seek professional medical help. If you feel you are suffering with both anxiety and depression, both of the conditions can be treated together.
Effective treatment strategies typically involve a combination of talk therapy, medication and certain lifestyle changes.
This includes cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy alongside antidepressant medication, exercise and relaxation techniques.
If you or someone you know is experiencing severe anxiety and depression as well as suicidal thoughts, you can reach out to the Samaritans on 116 123, 24 hours a day.