EastEnders star Patsy Palmer has spoken candidly about her battle with depression, urging other sufferers to be open about their condition.

The actress, who returned to the soap last year after nearly a decade away to reprise the character of Bianca Jackson, said during her first stint in Albert Square she had slid gradually from anxiety into depression.

The 36-year-old mother said her experiences had made her “probably a bit over-sensitive” about her children’s mental health.

“It was quite a few years ago, when I was working at EastEnders before, and I wanted to change my life for the better, become healthier, stop drinking, stop the party lifestyle,” she said on the BBC’s Missing Live programme.

“After a couple of months I started to suffer from anxiety, and it went on for quite some time and then it kind of just built up and built up, and because I wasn’t talking about it – I tried all different kinds of ways, but that’s the point, keeping it to yourself is really not a good idea.

“It was very confusing not being able to accept that there was something going on mentally – I was suffering from depression.”

The turning point came when her brother took her to a treatment centre, she said.

“It was almost like I had gone in to some kind of blackout,” she said. “I just couldn’t face going in to work that day, I was lucky that I had my brother with me.”

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