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Mel C reflects on depression battle as she tells fans to 'never be embarrassed' about mental health


Mel C has candidly reflected on her battle with depression, stressing the importance of reaching out to loved ones for help.

The Spice Girl, 47, was diagnosed with depression more than two decades ago and has often spoken about it as well as struggling with an eating disorder. 

While chatting on The Graham Norton Radio Show on Virgin Radio, Mel encouraged her fans to ‘never be embarrassed’ to talk about their mental health.  

'Never be embarrassed': Mel C has candidly reflected on her battle with depression, stressing the importance of reaching out to loved ones for help (pictured in February 2020)

‘Never be embarrassed’: Mel C has candidly reflected on her battle with depression, stressing the importance of reaching out to loved ones for help (pictured in February 2020)

Mel, whose full name is Melanie Chisholm, explained how at first she was too ‘ashamed’ to talk about it, but speaking about how she was feeling was an essential part of getting well again.

She said: ‘I kept those secret and I think people are quite aware of it around you but they don’t know how to approach you. 

‘I think I would have just said “people love you and care about you, please reach out to them”… So often you need that external help, you have to be ready, but you do need help and personally for me I needed professional help.’ 

The Who I Am singer, who was known as Sporty Spice in the girlband, continued that she thinks many people are ’embarrassed’ to speak up despite it being vital.  

Candid: The Spice Girl, 47, was diagnosed with depression more than two decades ago and has often spoken about it as well as struggling with an eating disorder (pictured in 2018)

Candid: The Spice Girl, 47, was diagnosed with depression more than two decades ago and has often spoken about it as well as struggling with an eating disorder (pictured in 2018)

She added: ‘I’ve suffered with an eating disorder as well. I think a lot of people feel very ashamed and very embarrassed about it like it’s a weakness and you’ve lost this control… 

‘It’s so important to reach out and never, ever be embarrassed. We all have problems and concerns. People need people.

‘If anybody close to me was going through it [depression], I think you just need to reach out when you’re depressed…’  

Elsewhere in the interview, Melanie – who released her self-titled eighth solo album last year – admitted she’s made peace with the fact she will always be remembered as a Spice Girl.

Girl group: She also admitted she's made peace with the fact she will always be remembered as a Spice Girl (pictured left with with Emma Bunton, Mel Brown and Victoria Beckham in 1998)

Girl group: She also admitted she’s made peace with the fact she will always be remembered as a Spice Girl (pictured left with with Emma Bunton, Mel Brown and Victoria Beckham in 1998)

She said: ‘When you’ve been part of something as enormous as the Spice Girls that’s the thing that everybody’s going to remember you for, but I’m so grateful that it’s enabled me to go on and make my eighth studio album.’  

The singer also spoke about ‘struggling’ with an eating disorder and depression after the pressures of Spice Girls fame ‘pushed her to the point of illness’ last September. 

Mel, who was 20 when she responded to an advert to form a girl group in 1994, told how she had ‘everything’ she had ‘ever dreamed of’ but was ‘desperately unhappy’

Speaking to The Observer, she said: ‘The lows of being famous were devastatingly hard. It pushed me to the point of illness. I was struggling with an eating disorder and suffering from depression. 

Reflecting: Melanie has previously said that despite having 'everything' she had 'ever dreamed of' after finding fame with The Spice Girls, she was 'desperately unhappy' (pictured in 2020)

Reflecting: Melanie has previously said that despite having ‘everything’ she had ‘ever dreamed of’ after finding fame with The Spice Girls, she was ‘desperately unhappy’ (pictured in 2020)

‘I had everything I’d ever dreamed of, and was desperately unhappy. It’s often forgotten that people in the public eye are human.’  

The 1996 Wannabe hitmaker, mother to 11-year-old Scarlet who she shares with her ex Thomas Starr, described how she was ‘ashamed’ to accept help and ‘could see not way out’. 

However the songstress revealed how ‘when the time came’ she sought professional help and has urged others to get to the point when they are ‘ready’ to receive help.  

Melanie said she was ‘struggling to get out of bed’ and was ‘very teary’ at the depths of her depression before she sought help in 2000 during a trip to LA with her family. 

Speaking to The Mirror, she said: ‘I didn’t have the will any longer to stay in this life.  

‘That is when I decided to go and see my GP… the first thing he wanted to address was my depression.

‘It was a massive relief to me. I just thought I was going mad, it had a name, it was something you could be helped with… recover from.’ 

The singer, who was dubbed Sporty Spice because of her athletic style, combated her depression through a mixture of therapies, acupuncture and medication. 

Mel has revealed that the lead track on her new solo album, Who I Am, was inspired by her battle with an eating disorder, which developed at the peak of her fame.

She told  Stellar Magazine: ‘I started exercising obsessively, I stopped eating properly, and I began to become very, very ill.’ 

If you have been affected by this story, you can call Beat on 0808 801 0677 or visit www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk or call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

Throwbacks: The Spice Girls took to social media to share a series of throwback snaps on Monday as they marked Mel C's 47th birthday, with Victoria, 46, writing: 'Here’s to so many amazing memories together!

Throwbacks: The Spice Girls took to social media to share a series of throwback snaps on Monday as they marked Mel C’s 47th birthday, with Victoria, 46, writing: ‘Here’s to so many amazing memories together!

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