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Natalie Imbruglia discusses her return to music

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The former Neighbours actress opened up confessing that she found it extremely difficult to live up to the pressures and “go beyond what was expected of her,” after the resounding success of her first international single. Due to this, serious conditions such as anxiety, depression and OCD crept in, driving the singer “insane”.

Fame is all well and good, abilify incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms but it comes with a price, and sadly for Natalie this was her mental wellbeing.The 46-year-old revealed in an interview with the Mirror that her mental health got so bad she didn’t even want to go outside.

She said: “I was anxious, nervous, stressed out and scared. I didn’t want to go outside in case people recognised me.”

Due to her health struggles, the star seemed to go from 1990s pop princess to someone who disappeared completely from view.

In an attempt to understand her mental health, the star delved into her past, revealing that since childhood she has had a “tendency to lean towards melancholy”.

“My sisters suffer from it too, so maybe it’s a genetic thing. But none of us has ever been on medication.

“Maybe it’s just that we’re very emotional people. It got particularly bad for me when I was in my twenties. I was successful, rich and terribly unhappy. I withdrew from the world and that made me even more depressed.

“I can understand why some people might look at me and say, ‘What’s she got to be depressed about?’ I get that a lot in Britain, where mental health issues seem to be a big taboo.

“I feel no shame in admitting that I’ve struggled in that way and gone through therapy. I can handle it a lot better these days. If I start feeling down I’ll gorge myself on pasta. That usually does the trick. It’s the Italian blood in me.”

In addition to depression and feelings of melancholy, the singer also followed in the footsteps of her mother by developing OCD.

She continued to say: “I have OCD, which can be a problem because I’m not good with change. My motto is ‘No Surprises’. It’s an OCD from my mother. It is hard. In trying to control things it doesn’t work.”

Despite her past struggles, the talented singer is in a happier place these days, finally accepting her coming of age which has built up her self-esteem greatly.

“Turning 40 was a good thing for me,” she noted. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been, I’m more settled and I’m not trying to be anything that I’m not.”

Any mental health condition is serious and is important to take notice of if you feel you might be experiencing some symptoms and your daily life is affected as a result.

WebMD list the common signs and symptoms of depression. They include the following:

  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
  • Crankiness
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
  • Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.

Doctors can test you for depression and help you manage symptoms whereas if it goes untreated it can become worse and last for months or even years.

Psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy are the most common form of therapy treatments for the condition and will teach you how to cope better with the condition.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) on the other hand affects people differently, but usually causes a particular pattern of thoughts and behaviours.

The NHS state that the condition has three main elements:

  1. Obsessions – where an unwanted, intrusive and often distressing thought, image or urge repeatedly enters your mind
  2. Emotions – the obsession causes a feeling of intense anxiety or distress
  3. Compulsions – repetitive behaviours or mental acts that a person with OCD feels driven to perform as a result of the anxiety and distress caused by the obsession.

It’s important to get help if you think you have OCD and it’s having a significant impact on your life.

Ways of getting help include therapy and seeking advice from your GP. Therapy can help you face your fears and “put right” compulsive thoughts whereas medicines can help alter the balance of chemicals in the brain.

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