Sunday 17 December 2017

Kerry Katona on mental health: I'm still ridiculed for interview eight years ago

By Lucy Mapstone

The reality TV star has also admitted to not “being careful” about getting pregnant again.

Former Atomic Kitten star Kerry Katona has said she is still ridiculed for her “infamous” 2008 This Morning interview, while speaking openly about her mental health issues.

The reality TV star, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, appeared on the ITV programme once again to address the “stigma” around her mental health battles, adding that people will judge things if they cannot see them.

Kerry sparked concern as she slurred her way through the 2008 interview, appearing confused throughout, and at the time she said it was due to the prescription drugs she had taken.

Speaking to hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes on Tuesday, she said: “It was eight years ago I was on the famous couch, that infamous interview with me slurring.

“And that was due to medication, pure medication, and even now I have episodes and I talk a million miles an hour and then I go really down.

“I’m still on medication, I’m not ashamed to admit that.”

She added: “Since that infamous interview I’m still ridiculed. There’s still a stigma attached to me as, yeh, we all know I’ve done the drugs thing, I’ve done the drink thing, but that was pure medication.

“I’m still climbing the ladder to get rid of that stigma.”

Kerry, 36, praised Prince Harry’s admission that he sought counselling after the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince William’s stance on talking about mental health issues.

She said that she was advised by her psychiatrist to not speak openly about her own issues, and she has revealed her encouragement for the public’s perception to change on the topic.

She said: “My psychiatrist said to me, ‘tell the public you’ve had drug issues and drink problems, don’t let them know you have a mental health issue, because if they can’t see it, they can’t understand it’.”

Kerry continued: “So if I were sat here on the couch that day, slurring with half my face covered in third degree burns, or with a limb missing, they’d say, ‘aw, bless her’.

“It’s about time we got rid of this grey area and stigma around mental health.”

During the interview, mother-of-five Kerry said she is keen to have another child, and that she and husband George – with whom she has one child – are not “being careful”.

Asked by the hosts why she wants another baby, she joked: “Oh, it just makes me more money on the front covers of magazine doesn’t it?”

The former I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! champion said: “I’m very, very happy, I’d never say no to another child – I’m not being careful, but I won’t go down that route as it’s too personal.

“But I was born to be a mum. Yes, I have my own issues, everyone has issues, but I was born to be a mother.”

Press Association

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