Fern Britton in therapy for ten years to vent over awful things without upsetting family

Fern Britton on ‘bouncing back’ from ‘tough couple of years’

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You’re not upsetting those people nearest and dearest when you say those awful things [to a therapist].

Fern Britton

Fern’s emotional struggles date back years, as she discovered in her youth that her father had left her mother to be with another woman before she was conceived, which caused trauma.

She was then forced to cope with her own marriage breakdowns and a bad bout of postnatal depression.

Therapy has been a vital part of healing for her, as she admitted to hosts Trish and Lorraine on the podcast Postcards From Midlife.

“Every week I speak to my therapist,” she admitted, rationalising: “It’s money going out but I don’t very often get my hair done!

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“This for me is an essential,” she explained adamantly.

“I’ve been talking to her for over ten years.

“You’re not upsetting those people nearest and dearest when you say those awful things that you want to say about them, or about yourself or about life.”

Fern’s journey to strong mental health is an ongoing one, as plenty of issues have arisen throughout her life and TV career.

The final time that she gave birth, she was 44 years old – and complications afterwards included a fog of depression.

Urging other women to seek help for similar experiences, she sympathised: “You’ve got to go and have a long chat to yourself because you’re not superwoman.

“If your internal dialogue is too noisy and you’re thinking about mad things, you need to see a doctor.”

Fern recalled that her life was so fast-paced and stressful at one point that she found herself intentionally going to sleep in her day clothes, so that she would be ready straight away when it came time to wake up.

She now describes her attitude as “madness”, but when it was happening, she was adamant that she didn’t want to see anyone who could help.

Her mother phoned a doctor, but she brushed off their concerns telling them she was “fine” and that her family members were just “worrying”.

The next thing she knew, a nurse was on her doorstep, telling her: “You’re really NOT fine.”

Other traumatic experiences in Fern’s life include “being followed by paps constantly” over media stories.

Fern claims ITV bosses asked her to apologise for not having told the world that she’d made the choice to have a gastric band.

The conversation happened after being “stalked” by photographers over the controversy, something she laments she “didn’t really deserve”.

Some media outlets reported that she was having “a nervous breakdown” after her boss chose to take her off air for a few days.

Though there have been numerous stressful situations, fortunately she says has had an “amicable” split from her second husband Phil Vickery, musing: “He’s settling into his new life and I’m settling into mine!”

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