Hollyoaks actor Adam Rickitt has opened up on his own battle with depression, admitting that he spent most of his adult life feeling "essentially suicidal".
In powerful scenes airing later this month, the 42-year-old will bow out of the Channel 4 soap after his character Kyle's mental health issues become too much and he decides to take his own life.
Talking about the storyline on Loose Women today, Rickitt, who rose to fame in 1997 after joining Coronation Street, revealed that he suffered from depression from the age of 13 to 30 and at times was "praying to die".
"It's quite out there in the public forum that I had issues as a teenager with an eating disorder," he said. "But what I don't think ever I've spoken about, or people have realised, is that actually my issues premeditated that and also went on a lot beyond that. I basically suffered from anxiety and depression from the ages of 13 to 30. So for 17 years of my life I was essentially suicidal.
"It comes in peaks and waves like it does for so many people, but still to this day the best portion of my adult life was spent suicidal. I'd reached a point where I was essentially praying to die. I would quite happily have killed myself. The only thing that stopped me from killing myself is that I knew my parents would blame themselves. And I didn't mind ending my life, but I didn't want to ruin their life."
Rickitt said that he had a "defining moment" with his illness when he was out in New Zealand working on soap opera Shortland Street.
"I decided I was either going to do something about it or I was going to fade away into nothingness," he recalled. "There was no miracle cure, that was the worst thing... it's not how it works, it's a gradual process."
Hollyoaks continues Mondays and Tuesdays on Channel 4 and E4.
Watch Rickitt's Loose Women interview in full below: