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Nicky Campbell opens up on bipolar disorder diagnosis – 'Everything fell on top of me'


Nicky Campbell has opened up in the last few months about his late diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2020. People with bipolar disorder have episodes of depression and mania. Opening up about the time leading up to his diagnosis on ITV’s Lorraine: “Over the last 11 year on Long Lost Family people have been so honest with us, amazingly honest…it’s my turn to be honest.” He revealed a partcular day when he collapsed: “Dropping to my knees, everything fell on top of me, just sobbing…”

He spoke more on the day when he “collapsed”: “I was doing a radio show with my brilliant colleague Rachel Burden on Radio 5 Live Breakfast.

“She’s such a good woman, she kind of knew when I wasn’t on it and she’d cover up for me. She’s just wonderful.”

He continued: “I love animals, I think we need to care for animals – they’re so exploited. I became obsessed with that. I wanted to save every single animal.

“One morning I was looking at some elephants that had died on a train track in India and I just was utterly helpless.

“I went down to Euston station to go up to Manchester, Salford where the 5 Live studios were, and I just collapsed on the ground weeping.

“Everything at that moment just fell on my head.”

He added: “There I was. I rang Tina and I said, ‘This has happened. I’m not sure if I can go on anymore’ and she said, ‘Come home. Come see the kids, come back to me and come and see Maxwell’.

“That’s when I went back.”

Bipolar disorder is fairly common, with one in every 100 people diagnosed with it at some point in their life.

The symptoms are depression and mania – depression is a feeling very low and lethargic and mania is feeling very high and overactive.

The condition is characterised by swinging from one extreme to another.

The high and low phases of bipolar disorder after often so extreme that they interfere with everyday life, explains the NHS.

But there are several options for treating bipolar disorder that can make a difference.

These aim to control the effects of an episode and help someone with bipolar disorder live life as normally as possible.

Treatment options include:

  • medicine to prevent episodes of mania and depression – these are known as mood stabilisers, and you take them every day on a long-term basis
  • medicine to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they happen
  • learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
  • psychological treatment – such as talking therapy, which can help you deal with depression, and provides advice about how to improve your relationships
  • lifestyle advice – such as doing regular exercise, planning activities you enjoy that give you a sense of achievement, as well as advice on improving your diet and getting more sleep


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