Kerry Katona has said she's proud to have bipolar and shared her hopes to become a "beacon" for those struggling with mental health.
The 41 year old was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2005 and three years later in 2008 she hit the headlines for her interview on This Morning, as she was seen slurring her words.
Kerry has gone on to enjoy a successful life and career in the wake of the interview – but the star candidly admits she was "ridiculed and mocked" and called a "car crash" for the interview after previously admitting she felt "suicidal" afterwards.
Former Atomic Kitten star Kerry, who recently said the last few months have been "really trying" on her relationship with Ryan, has written in her OK! column about how far she has come in her mental health struggle following World Bipolar Day on Wednesday 30 March.
She said: "It was World Bipolar Day last week, and it made me think about what I’ve overcome and the issues I face every day.
"I want people to see me as a beacon for those who are struggling. It doesn’t matter how low you feel, you have to keep fighting until you’re being heard.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel. We need to keep talking about bipolar – be open about it and don’t feel ashamed."
Looking back at her own experiences with her mental health, Kerry continued: "For years I was ridiculed and mocked. People didn’t want to work with me because they didn’t understand what bipolar was."
Kerry experienced some criticism and concern as she appeared on This Morning in 2008 with slurred speech, which she has always maintained was due to the bipolar medication she was taking at the time as she recently said on GB News: "It was my bipolar medication but people just assumed I was off my head on drink or drugs."
Reflecting on the reaction, Kerry recalled to OK!: "They called me a 'car crash', but it doesn’t define me.
"You can still have a great life, even when you’re struggling with mental health."
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Despite the star having faced some battles even after 2008, Kerry has continued to keep a positive mindset.
"Every day is a battle, but looking at who I am and what I’ve achieved gets me through," she said.
The star is now urging those who may be struggling to seek help and support as she said: "If you’re feeling low, see a doctor. Don’t feel embarrassed.
"No one can explain what’s going on inside your head, but it’s important to realise you’re never alone. Don’t suffer in silence."
Read Kerry's full column here. For the latest celebrity interviews and exclusives, sign up to OK!'s Daily Newsletter here.
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