Coronation Street’s Simon Gregson opens up on crippling health issue

Simon Gregson discusses anxiety battle on Lorraine

Coronation Street star Simon Gregson joined Lorraine Kelly where he opened up about his recent health diagnosis and how he struggled for more than 20 years.

Introducing Simon to Thursday’s show, Lorraine began: “Simon Gregson has played Steve McDonald on the street for 34 years.

“But behind the scenes though Simon has revealed that he was struggling with anxiety for about two decades.” 

Explaining how it started and the beginning of his journey, Simon said: “Well, in about 2015 it had come to its head really, the whole anxiety thing.

“Because I had no idea what it was and I just get getting really ill, these mystery illnesses, you know. I kept getting checked out, I was having heart scans, and brain scans, and they thought at one point I had vertigo.

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“All these horrible ailments and then eventually I went to see my local GP and a psychiatrist and I started from the beginning and he went, ‘You have had an anxiety disorder and you have had it for a long long time.'”

Going on to discuss the height of his anxiety, Simon explained he had rang his boss at ITV at the time and said that he had made it into his car, but couldn’t get himself off the driveway over fears of panic.

Lorraine asked: “Did you get help yourself or did somebody have to say to you ‘You need..’,” to which Simon admitted: “I went to see the GP and then ITV brought a doctor in.

“They [ITV] got this amazing doctor in who works with the Royal Navy and the Royal Family and he was lovely and he went, ‘Six months off, this is crazy.’

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“So I went and got myself a therapist who is great, now one of my closest friends, saw a psychiatrist and I hit the gym, I ate properly.”

Simon also touched on how his character in Coronation Street had a depression storyline and admitted that it “couldn’t have come at a worse time.”

“I had to do a scene where I had to have a panic attack, so I thought, ‘I’ll walk this.’ Could I have a panic attack? I couldn’t have one.

“I went from having 10, 11, 12 a day for no reason, completely awful, I couldn’t have one when I wanted one, so that’s when I thought this is all psycho-semantic.”

Coronation Street airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8pm on ITV.

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