Hunts Post reporter talks openly about mental health issues in new podcast

Katie Ridley hosts the podcast every week and episodes are released every Friday at 6pm.

Katie Ridley hosts the podcast every week and episodes are released every Friday at 6pm. - Credit: Archant

I thought it would be hypercritical if I was to ask others to talk openly about their mental health but not do it myself.

The idea for my What's Next podcast came to me last year when I was diagnosed with depression.

Having spent most of my teenage years suffering with anxiety, mental illnesses were not foreign to me; however this did come as a shock. That's the reason why I wanted to start the podcast. I wanted to inform and educate people, as well as trying to normalise mental health.

According to Anxiety UK, more than one in 10 people are likely to have a 'disabling anxiety disorder' at some stage in their life.

In this episode of the podcast, I speak about the struggle of living with depression and anxiety and how I managed to hide it from everyone around me.

I also discuss the power of social media and how difficult it can be for some people to navigate it, including me.

More than a million people in the UK have a social media account, me being one of them. I found it to be very difficult to deal with, and still do.

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I spent most of last year not being able to get out of bed, I had no self worth, and no energy to do anything.

It's not always easy to ask for help, but my first port of call was my GP.

I was worried that I would not be taken seriously, but the first thing my doctor said to me was: "Okay Katie, well it's 8:30 in the morning and you are the fourth person to walk in this doctors surgery and tell me about a mental health issue."

And that got me thinking. Why aren't we talking about mental health issues more and sharing our thoughts and feelings.

In the last few weeks I have spoken to a cross-section of people about their mental health and these include: Jamie Archer, who spoke to me about depression and Hannah Robinson who explained what it is like to live with anorexia.

You can find What's Next podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

If you would like to be a guest on the show, or know someone who would be prepared to talk about a mental health issue, e-mail: