Leah Charles-King reveals ‘change of plans’ during filming
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A Place in the Sun star Leah Charles King has opened up on her battles with her mental health, heartbreakingly admitting that her family once “disowned” her in shock after she revealed her diagnosis with bipolar disorder. She urged fans that her DMs were “open” for anyone experiencing struggles and that no-one should “battle alone”.
Taking to her Twitter account, Leah confessed that behind the scenes of her smiling performance on ITV, she had been ready to end her life.
“Suicide doesn’t always look suicidal,” she warned in a post to more than 4,000 followers.
Attaching a video clip of herself in a bright yellow dress the colour of sunshine, and seemingly with an attitude to match, she confessed that internally she was feeling the opposite – desperately unhappy.
“Me in 2018 hosting a show airing on @itv (pre coming out bipolar),” she explained.
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“I was suicidal & decided this [was] my last shift. I had ‘plans’.
“That night a friend talk me down from a tall building (sic).”
She added the hashtags “@theCALMzone on #thismorning powerful #unitedagainstsucide” (sic)
@BiPolarRunner instantly agreed with her warning that suicide is far from easy to spot.
“Yes it’s a complete misconception that outwardly to those around you that if you are fully functioning even at a high level that you could never be internally be making plans to shut up shop,” the tweeter wrote.
Leah replied: “This is sad but so true”, before adding: “Glad you’re seeing better days.”
She added some stats in a further post, explaining that 125 people are said to take their own lives each week in the UK – many with “untreated bipolar disorder”.
The A Place in the Sun presenter, who lives with bipolar herself, voiced that it can take up to 9.5 years for an accurate diagnosis, meaning that some take their own lives before the cause of their suffering can be identified and treated.
After one fan shared their own experience of bipolar disorder, and how the support of their family had helped, Leah shared a personal reply.
“I’m so glad you have the support of your family because it makes a massive difference,” she stated.
“In the beginning my family disowned me because of bipolar.
“They just didn’t understand but now our relationship is the best it’s ever been and I couldn’t cope without them.”
Leah stated that someone with bipolar disorder carries a 20 times greater risk of suicide for a sufferer than someone who does not have the condition.
It can cause extreme highs (manic episodes) and then extreme lows, during which those with the condition can dive into deep depression, with each extreme mood swing often lasting a period of several weeks.
Leah tagged a suicide prevention toolkit on her Twitter account courtesy of @BiPolarUK.
In spite of her health struggles, Leah has bravely soldiered on and managed to accomplish a lot in work.
As well as her role on A Place in the Sun, her agent’s website states that the presenter has “over 30 years experience in the media and entertainment industry as a music artist, TV and radio presenter, producer, live host and public speaker”.
Anyone suffering from suicidal thoughts or who needs to talk about a difficult issue can call the Samaritans free of charge 24 hours a day on 116 123.
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