Sheridan Smith has revealed she was addicted to anti-anxiety medication and suffered seizures when she stopped taking it after feeling “humiliated” by a joke at a TV BAFTA awards ceremony.
In a new documentary on mental health, the star said she “went off the deep end” after the awards in 2016, when host Graham Norton made a comment about her at the event.
The 39-year-old TV and West End star, who was nominated for a BAFTA for her role in The C Word, tells the programme: “Graham Norton was hosting and made a joke at my expense about me being a drunk…
“I was so humiliated. It’s a room full of your peers, people you want to work with or have worked with.
“That night, for me, was like the final straw before my brain totally went off the deep end.”
Smith says she had become addicted to anti-anxiety tablets before the awards.
“That night I took myself off to a hotel on my own,” she says. “In my crazy mind, I thought, ‘I’ll do it [stop taking the tablets] myself’.
“I went there and just stopped my tablets. Weirdly, a friend of mine had rung me and she came to the hotel.
“It’s a miracle she did. It’s like someone was looking out for me because what I didn’t realise is that if you stop these tablets abruptly, you seizure.
“I seizured five times and got rushed to A&E and she’s the one who got me breathing again.”
Smith says she wanted to make the show and talk about her experiences to help other women.
After having her son, Billy, in the summer, she tells the programme she now feels “a contentment”.
She says: “At the start of my pregnancy, I’d just got myself to a good place and I thought, ‘Please don’t let this be a turning point where things change for me’,” she said. “That was my biggest worry.”
Smith adds: “Now I’ve got this little family and I just feel, I can’t explain it, like a contentment, a calm.
“Maybe I was looking for something in the wrong places and now I feel like I’ve found it in this little boy when I look in his eyes.”
Sheridan Smith: Becoming Mum airs on Tuesday 1 September at 9pm on ITV