Inside Emmerdale Matthew Wolfenden’s secret battle with depression for 8 years

Actor Matthew Wolfenden is widely known for his role as David Metcalfe in Emmerdale, but his rise to fame wasn't without its struggles.

Surprisingly for some, the 41-year-old actor's first acting job was actually as an extra on the ITV soap, and he has since also enjoyed other roles such as in the Hollyoaks spin-off, Let Loose.

However, in his earlier years he faced a long battle with depression for eight years.

The handsome actor bravely opened up about his mental health journey on Loose Women, and he said: "I suffered with depression from the age of 23 to around 31.

"There were various things going on in my life when I was 23 and that’s why I ended up going to the doctors.

"The first thing the doctor did was to give me a prescription for antidepressants. He didn't say, 'do you want to go and talk to someone?'.

The star continued: "Once you’re on antidepressants it’s very hard to come off them. It’s almost like a bandage. It’s like masking the fact that you’ve got depression."

Discussing his symptoms of depression, Matthew went on to explain that he had undergone an operation for his back injury, which left him bedridden – and his mood subsequently got "lower and lower".

He said: "I had to quit my job. I was in the West End working as a dancer at the time. I had to take a sabbatical from that. I was on antidepressants for eight years."

Eventually, the actor chose to gradually get himself off of the drugs and use talking therapy instead to help him deal with his underlying issues.

Matthew said he stopped taking antidepressants after receiving the help he needed.

Around one in five UK adults are believed to be affected by depression – and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Symptoms of depression can include a low mood, a loss of interest in hobbies and changes in appetite.

If you or someone you know is struggling mentally and need to talk to someone, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

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  • Emmerdale
  • ITV

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