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Sheridan Smith admits she felt ‘ashamed’ when she suffered a mental breakdown following her father’s cancer diagnosis – after it forced her to pull out of her stage show

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Sheridan Smith has revealed she felt ‘ashamed’ when she suffered a mental breakdown, after it forced her to pull out of her role in Funny Girl.

The actress, 42, withdrew from her role in the show back in 2016 in a series of blows for the star, including battles with alcohol and anxiety, and the loss of her father to cancer.

Speaking in a candid new interview, Sheridan admitted she had ‘no support team’ during her struggles, and lauded the wider acceptance of therapy in recent years.

The star added that her new role in the stage adaptation of the 1977 film Opening Night is ‘so close to bone’ given her struggles, but she’s in a ‘strong place now.’

Sheridan told The Guardian: ‘It’s so close to the bone. I’ve actually had the curtain brought down on me. I’ve been through that sort of crisis.

Sheridan Smith has revealed she felt 'ashamed' when she suffered a mental breakdown, after it forced her to pull out of her role in Funny Girl

Sheridan Smith has revealed she felt ‘ashamed’ when she suffered a mental breakdown, after it forced her to pull out of her role in Funny Girl

‘But there are therapists here that you can talk to,’ she says. ‘It’s so different from when I had my meltdown eight years ago. There was no support team then. It was just, ”Get on stage!”

Opening Night, which runs at the Gielgud Theatre from March 6, follows a theatre company’s preparations to stage a new play on Broadway.

It follows stage actress Myrtle Gordon, whose mental health begins to spiral following the death of one of her fans outside the theatre.

As she prepares for the opening night of her show, with pressure to carry on with her performances, she suffers a nervous breakdown.

Despite the role being close to her own experience, Sheridan said: ‘I knew I had to do the play as a way of taking control of what I went through. I felt so ashamed of that time. I need to prove I’m not that person. It’s been very cathartic.’

In 2016, Sheridan was forced to pull out of her role as Fanny Bryce in the musical Funny Girl, after her beloved father was diagnosed with cancer.

The star had missed several performances and it was later confirmed she withdrew from the show due to ‘stress and exhaustion.’ 

The actress withdrew from her role in the show back in 2016 in a series of blows for the star, including battles with alcohol and anxiety, and the loss of her father to cancer .

The actress withdrew from her role in the show back in 2016 in a series of blows for the star, including battles with alcohol and anxiety, and the loss of her father to cancer .

Speaking in a candid new interview, Sheridan admitted she had 'no support team' during her struggles (pictured in Funny Girl in 2016)

Speaking in a candid new interview, Sheridan admitted she had ‘no support team’ during her struggles (pictured in Funny Girl in 2016)

After being criticised by fans upset that she had dropped out of the London performance, the actress revealed her father’s diagnosis on Twitter before promising to personally reimburse fans. 

While Sheridan returned to Funny Girl weeks later, she was devastated when her father passed away that December, with the actress pulling out of an appearance at the Royal Variety as a result.

The star has since revealed that she nearly died after deciding to stop taking her anti-anxiety medication, while grieving her father’s death.

She told Radio Times how the incident occurred when she was staying at a hotel for the 2016 BAFTAs after being nominated for her role in The C Word. 

‘In my crazy mind I thought, ‘I don’t wanna be in rehab — I’ll do it myself’ so I went there and I just stopped my tablets’.

She continued: ‘What I didn’t realise is that if you stop the tablets abruptly, you seizure. And to cut a long story short, I got seizures five times and got rushed into A&E’.

‘Weirdly, a friend of mine rang me and she came to the hotel. It’s a miracle she did. It was like someone was looking out for me.

Adding: ‘She’s the one who got me breathing again.’

Last week Sheridan revealed she has been diagnosed with ADHD.

She candidly opened up about her diagnosis during an interview with Vogue and admitted it has ‘helped her make sense of a lot of things’ in her life.

The star has since revealed that she nearly died after deciding to stop taking her anti-anxiety medication, while grieving her father's death

The star has since revealed that she nearly died after deciding to stop taking her anti-anxiety medication, while grieving her father’s death 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that includes symptoms such as being restless and having trouble concentrating. 

The mother-of-one finds herself constantly ‘overanalysing’ little things – as simple as answering WhatsApp group chats or overthinking what to say.

Sheridan, who also discussed how sometimes she can feel ‘useless’, revealed her ADHD diagnosis has helped conclude why she has a lot of ‘brain background noise’.

The actress shares a son Billy, three, with her ex fiancé Jamie Horn, 33, who she split with in 2021. 

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