The Last Leg’s Josh Widdicombe opens up about antidepressants to challenge ‘enormous stigma’

london, england january 20 josh widdicombe leaves bbc radio 2 on january 20, 2023 in london, england photo by neil mockfordgc images

Josh Widdicombe opens up about antidepressantsNeil Mockford – Getty Images

The Last Leg and Parenting Hell host Josh Widdicombe spoke about using antidepressants after his anxiety and panic attacks led him to drink himself to sleep.

Reflecting on his struggles last year while speaking on the latest episode of his Parenting Hell podcast, Josh said, “To give you an idea of ​​what kind of place I was in back then, I drank myself to sleep, I had panic attacks.”

Co-host Rob Beckett, said: ‘You were stretched beyond belief at home and at work, you were busy with too many things, you were trying to please too many people at the same time, which ultimately led to you not enjoying the life. , and feeling stressed and fed up.”

Josh, who has previously spoken on the podcast about his struggles managing his workload and anxiety, added: “It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep, I had panic attacks before I went to bed at night. It’s been a long old journey.

the last stop adam hills, josh widdicombe and alex brooker

Ian Derry – Channel 4

“The whole thing was so absurd, there was this moment when I was in The Last Leg Christmas Special. I was dressed as Kermit the Frog, you know when Kermit the Frog is Bob Cratchit [from A Muppets Christmas Carol], I was feeling quite down at this point. Not even in relation to the outfit.

“I thought ‘I’ve never been this depressed.'”

During their discussion, both podcast hosts laughed, with Josh explaining shortly after, “It was a chemical imbalance. You have to laugh about it because it’s fucking absurd.”

Josh explained that he went to a GP about his mental health issues and lack of sleep, and was prescribed antidepressants: ‘It was the best thing that ever happened to me. It sounds really scary, he seems to admit to have a problem and you can’t fix it yourself.”

alex brooker, josh widdicombe, adam hills, last leg christmas special

Channel 4

He continued, “They put me on Escitalopram … the reason I think it’s important to talk about it, is because I was almost embarrassed to take them. You have two weeks of side effects while taking them.”

Josh later explained that he went to his friend’s 40th birthday party and was really nervous about having to explain why he didn’t drink alcohol. He told friends he was on medication and when asked what kind, he said, “Oh, I’ve had severe anxiety, so I’m on Escitalopram” before revealing, “Both were also on it.”

He continued: ‘That’s when I first realized how widespread it is, that people have had to continue on this, and it’s not talked about at all. One in six adults in the UK are on or have taken antidepressants. There’s a huge stigma attached.”

rob beckett and josh widdicombe on lorraine's parenting hell podcast


Josh concluded by explaining that medications aren’t the only avenue for those seeking treatment for anxiety or depression. “Everyone works differently,” he said.

She added: ‘I was trying to change my life, while also having panic attacks to fall asleep. It was like trying to change a tire while driving down the highway. This just gave me a chance to change my life choices and the way I live my life, and if I want, I can phase things out.”

You can listen to the full chat with Josh about his mental health struggles on Parenting Hell, which is available exclusively on Spotify.

If you have been impacted by the issues raised in this story, organizations that can offer support include the SSN, Samaritans on 116 123 or Mind on 0300 123 3393). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mental

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