Helen Flanagan worried she'd ruined her career after breakdown

Helen Flanagan has spoken candidly about her breakdown credit:Bang Showbiz
Helen Flanagan has spoken candidly about her breakdown credit:Bang Showbiz

Helen Flanagan feared she had ruined her career after suffering a "very scary" psychotic episode.

The 33-year-old actress struggled to feel "normal" in the wake of her 2022 split from Scott Sinclair - the father of her children Matilda, eight, Delilah, five, and three-year-old Charlie - and then suffered an "awful reaction" to her ADHD medication, which left her at rock bottom.

She told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “I don’t see it as a break-up, I see it as a divorce. We were together 13 years. But instead of processing it all, I threw myself into work and shut off my emotions. I just went into survival mode. Then it all came to the surface earlier this year and I was mentally and physically breaking down."

Of her psychotic episode, she added: “It was really sad and very scary. I was seeing things and I felt like I was in danger all the time.”

Helen's nanny contacted her parents to alert them something was wrong, and the former 'Coronation Street' star agreed for her kids to stay with them while she sought help.

She said: “I wanted to do what was best for the kids and that was the right decision. I saw them every day because it was important for them to see me getting stronger.”

Her struggles meant Helen had to pull out of playing Miss Scarlett in a theatre tour of 'Cluedo 2' because of the months away from home, and though she knew it was the right thing to do, she feared her career would never recover.

She said: “I was having a breakdown, I couldn’t have travelled alone. I needed my friends and family, and to be there for my kids.

“I was heartbroken. It was my dream job and I thought I’d ruined my career. But I knew I needed to deal with things so I wouldn’t ever get to that place again.”

But the actress, who has rediscovered her love of exercise to help her heal, thinks she did the right thing.

She said: “I love work but my kids need me at home more. Having that time off was healthy, it changed my life in a way."

And Helen and Scott are in a "better place than ever" now and get along for the sake of their children as they agree “two happy homes are better than one unhappy home”.

She said: “I don’t want to live with toxic feelings, I want to get on with the father of my kids and he’s the same. When we found each other on a dating app we had a laugh about it, which shows how far we’ve come.”