Suranne Jones has said she is taking medication following the death of her father because she “wasn’t coping”.
The Gentleman Jack star added that she wanted to speak about her experiences because there is still a “huge taboo” around the subject.
The 42-year-old actress revealed in May that she lost her father in January after he tested positive for Covid.
Jones, who found fame in Coronation Street, said she was first prescribed medication following the death of her mother in 2016, when she had a “big breakdown”.
Speaking on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast, she said: “My mum had been sick for many years. She had an aneurysm and she slowly got worse and she developed dementia and Parkinson’s and she was in a home.
“In 2016 I had my son, at the end of February, and by the end of 2016 I lost my mum.
She continued: “What I did was I went into work because I thought ‘Well, I’ll take a job because I want to show that I’m back in the game’, which is a whole other conversation about mums, especially actresses, saying ‘I can do it all, don’t write me off.’
“So I took on a tough job – God knows why I chose Frozen (a play she starred in in 2018). I don’t know to this day why I would choose a subject that was about a paedophile and the mother of the chid that had died at the hand of this paedophile.”
She continued: “It was very difficult and I had a very public breakdown on stage in front of the audience and there was a build-up to it that I didn’t recognise.
“At that point you would think I would stop, but instead I thought ‘It’s OK, I’ve got this brilliant opportunity – Gentleman Jack – I’m going to do it because I think it will help me.’ It did to a certain point because Anne Lister is such a beautiful character to portray.”
However, Jones said her 14-hour working days, combined with family life, became unmanageable, adding: “I’m trying to control stuff. I’m trying to control the inevitable, because I haven’t yet grieved for my mother and I haven’t given myself any time.
“So, after the first Gentleman Jack I had a really big breakdown and I was offered medication, and I took it.
“And I didn’t want to. Kicking and screaming, I took it, but I was so far gone by that point, because I’d had the death of my mother and then I’d gone on to do two huge shows, and my husband did not know how to help me and we could see that all these things that I was trying to grasp on to to keep my life well and sorted weren’t working anymore.
“Then I went off medication after about a year and I felt really good, and then the pandemic hit, and then my dad got sick.
“In the first few days of Gentleman Jack 2 I got a call from my dad and he was grey and he couldn’t breathe and he said that he’d done a Covid test and it was positive.
“So my work – Gentleman Jack – sent him a medic and the medic said he needed to go to hospital.
“He was there for three months in ICU and we kept getting a call saying this might be the end of his life. I was still filming at this point and I’m away from home and I’m still processing.
“I was singing to him at the weekend on the phone, the nurses were holding the phone up to him.
“He didn’t make it, and eventually I got to say goodbye but in the full PPE, and then I got Covid myself at Christmas.
“At that point I felt like I wasn’t coping again so I had to go on medication again.
“I think it’s important to say that I’m doing great and I’m still filming my job and professionally I’ve always been really strong and on point.
“But I’m on medication, and at some point I’ll aim to get off that, but I think there’s a huge taboo around it and I wasn’t going to say it but I decided last night I should because it’s important.”
Jones first spoke about the death of her father in an Instagram post in May when she shared a birthday tribute to her late mother.
She wrote: “Happy birthday mum, forever on a beach in Cornwall with dad.
“Mum passed away 4 and a half years ago and my father sadly passed away this January after fighting Covid and the effect it had on his body.
“We are still coming to terms with it all but I know they are together and today I want to celebrate them both. My thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones. Today and always.”