Susannah Constantine has revealed her struggle with anxiety has seen her wish to be hit by a lorry “so that I could put an end to it all.”
The TV presenter and fashion journalist - who rose to fame as part of stylist duo Trinny and Susannah on BBC show What Not To Wear - has opened up about her 30-year battle with the condition on ITV’s This Morning.
Constantine, 57, told Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “I would wake up as a child every morning drenched in sweat and that came from, looking back now and that’s only something I’ve done very recently, my mother was manic-depressive and I guess I would wake up every morning scared of how she would be today.
“There was that feeling of uncertainty. Was I going to be abandoned to her illness that day? So I think it stems from that.”
She added: “I would pray that my car would be driven into by a lorry or something, so that I could put an end to it all. But it was just a thought that flashed through my mind… I say that. That is over-dramatic but it was at that moment something [to] take the pain away and then it would go.”
And the reality TV star - who has competed on live TV in Strictly Come Dancing and lived in the jungle for I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! - admitted she still wakes up terrified.
She said: “I woke up this morning with that snowball in my stomach. It’s now starting to melt. Usually by 11am, 12pm it’s gone and I’m okay.”
The boarding school-educated mother-of-three explained she had kept the condition hidden as a coping mechanism.
Constantine said: “I kept it in because for me it was a very personal thing and because I was able to function. And so I started doing things for myself… I believe it has got to come from within you.”
She added: “I now look at it as a haunting. I look at it as the ghost of anxiety has come to visit me and it’s going to pass. So intellectually I know it’s not going to stay with me… I use it as a motivator now.”
Constantine competed in Strictly Come Dancing last year and was the first celebrity to be voted out.
She said: “I don’t know why I did that. It was, without question, the most frightening thing I’ve ever done… I want to give two fingers to it [anxiety]. It’s kind of like smothering it with activity. That actually isn’t a good thing to do. I’ve learnt to sit with myself, to sit with my anxiety and just listen to it and not try to fight it. And again, I think that’s helped me a lot.”
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.