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Mel C, 46, battled anorexia and depression after being thrust into the spotlight with the band’s hit single ‘Wannabe’ in 1996. At the time, she was just 22. “There’s nothing that can prepare you for fame,” Mel revealed to PEOPLE.
“Although you’re achieving your dreams, it’s hard.
“With all the incredible experiences you have, there’s a lot of weird stuff to deal with. You’re being written about. Everybody has an opinion on you.
“You’re away from home a lot, and you’re working very long hours — it’s exhausting.”
While the singer had always dreamed of a life in the limelight, she wasn’t prepared for the backlash that might come with it.
She continued: “I was photographed and commented on constantly. It was hard to have our appearances, our personalities, our abilities, our talents — or ‘lack’ of them — commented on.
“I’d always been pretty confident, but it was a knock to my self-esteem.”
As part of a coping mechanism, Mel drastically cut back on food and started exercising obsessively.
In 1999, a year prior to the Spice Girls going on hiatus, her eating disorder evolved from anorexia to binge eating for “comfort”.
She said in the early 2000s, things got so bad that while on a trip to Los Angeles with her family she struggled to get out of bed.
She said: “I was so teary, and I just felt hopeless.”
After realising she could no longer do it on her own, the singer decided to seek help from her doctor who diagnosed her with depression.
Talking therapy and antidepressants really helped the star.
What are the symptoms of depression?
The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people, according to the NHS.
But if you’re depressed you may feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy.
The health body explains: “The symptoms persist for weeks or months and are bad enough to interfere with your work, social life and family life.”
The symptoms of depression can manifest themselves psychologically, physically and socially.
Psychological symptoms may include:
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling tearful
- Having no motivation or interest in things
Physical symptoms can include:
- Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
- Low sex drive
- Changes in appetite or weight
Social symptoms include:
- Avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
- Neglecting hobbies and interests
- Having difficulties in your home, work or family life
If you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than two weeks, you should see a GP.
Treatment usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medicines.
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