Chizzy Akudolu reveals early Strictly exit caused a ‘massive low’ with her depression

Chizzy Akudolu was the first star to leave last year's Strictly Come Dancing, and it seems that the early exit weighed heavily on the Holby City actress.

The 44-year-old appeared on Loose Women on Tuesday, where she revealed that she suffers from depression. Chizzy also shared that her mental health battle was hit hard by her time in Strictly, admitting her early exit was “crushing”.

Speaking to the panel, she confessed, “I do suffer from depression. I’m not ashamed to say that at all. It’s not something I asked for.

“It’s something I’m dealing with, I’m still on anti-depressants. I have therapy.”

Chizzy went on to share that she even required therapy after starring on Strictly Come Dancing, after hitting a “massive low”.

She said, “I had quite a bit of therapy after Strictly. I just want to say that the show did offer me a therapist. I said, ‘No I’ll be fine, it’s just a show, just a show’. But I did hit a massive low with my depression after Strictly.”

Chizzy was paired with Pasha Kovalev for the 2017 series of the show. However, she was kicked out in the second week, after a dance off with Simon Rimmer.

Asked if she felt that her mental health struggles were as a result of being the first to leave the show, she confessed that the early exit had had an impact – leaving her feeling embarrassed.

She said, “There was a bit of embarrassment and there’s all these plans you have in your head of future dances.

“And I’ve wanted to do the show for so long, and to get to do it, and I was getting fitter, and then for it suddenly just to be taken away, it was crushing. It was my birthday the following Saturday. Who gets to dance on Strictly on their birthday? Well, not me!”

Chizzy confessed that she even apologised to her pro partner Pasha for leaving early. She shared, “I apologised to him. He’s never been out that early. He’s never been out first.”

Discussing her battle with depression, Chizzy revealed that she was diagnosed in 2014, after noticing her low moods whilst on Holby City.

“I was diagnosed about three and a half years ago. I think there’s been something there, but I’ve just always gone, everything’s fine!”

“I’d just be sitting in the make-up chair and start crying. People would say, ‘What’s wrong?’ and I’d say, ‘I have no idea’. I’d start to get a bit angry, when I felt the crying coming, I’d get angry as I didn’t want people to see.”

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