Health

The reality TV stars who’ve spoken out about mental health

Behind the cameras, not everything is as perfect as it seems.
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Whilst we love nothing more than tuning into our favourite reality TV shows, it’s not always the easiest experience for the contestants.

WATCH BELOW: Matt Agnew talks about his mental health after filming his season 

In fact, several have spoken openly and frankly about how their mental health deteriorated during and after their experiences on TV.

Today is R U OK Day, a day to check in with yourself and those around you and smash the stigma that we need to keep our feelings and problems to ourselves.

So in honour of this day, here are stars from Bachelor contestants through to Married At First Sight brides and grooms, who have shed light on their own mental health experiences.

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“I still struggle with all the trolling. I still struggle with things. I try to take care of my mental health.” (Credit: Instagram)

Abbie Chatfield

We first met Abbie when she starred on Matt Agnew’s season of The Bachelor and made it all the way to the final two.

But seeing as she was portrayed as a sex-crazed villain, it didn’t take long for the internet trolls to come hard and fast. By the time the finale was about to air, Abbie admitted she even had suicidal thoughts. 

“I still struggle with all the trolling. I still struggle with things. I try to take care of my mental health,” she confessed on the TV RELOAD podcast in February 2021.

“I go to therapy once a week. It’s still very hard. A year and a half in this isn’t very long really. And I was 23 when I got all that trolling.”

Since her Bachelor days, Abbie has starred on Bachelor in Paradise and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, the latter of which she won in 2021.

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Bachie star Brooke is an ambassador for R U OK Day. (Credit: Instagram)

Brooke Blurton

Growing up in foster care throughout her childhood, season six Bachelor star Brooke saw and experienced things no child should ever have to endure.

But the incoming 2021 Bachelorette has been a vocal advocate for all things mental health and is also an ambassador for R U OK Day.

Speaking to Marie ClaireBrooke explained that she exercises to stay mentally healthy and considers it therapy as she can completely zone out and focus on one thing.

“Playing sport also keeps me active, so that has helped me stay on top of my mental health, every time I feel overwhelmed or stressed, I go for a walk or kick the footy,” she explained.

“It always makes me feel better to get out of the house or workplace for a bit. I find doing the little things to make you feel better, can change your whole mood. Like treating yourself or planning a date night, something a little spontaneous but nice.”

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Bryce was medically diagnosed with severe anxiety after MAFS. (Credit: Instagram)

Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson

If you watched MAFS in 2021, you’d always hear something about these two.

When the show ended, Bryce explained that he was medically diagnosed with severe anxiety and takes CBD oil to manage it.

“I haven’t been in my normal routine, I have regularly struggled to sleep & have felt on edge almost everyday,” he explained in July.

The couple, who are expecting twins, also shared a post in honour of R U OK Day 2021.

“You can’t underestimate how important your mental health is, sometimes a simple question can mean more than you think. Ask someone.. R U OK?” Bryce wrote on Instagram.

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Jake has been open with his mental health ever since he started his charity, Outside The Locker Room. (Credit: Nine)

Jake Edwards

When Jake starred on the eighth season of Married At First Sight, he was open about his former mental health struggles and how it led to creating his own charity, Outside The Locker Room.

However after his reality TV experience and relationship breakdown with Sophie Guidolin, the former AFL player was open about how he tackled his demons.

“If you had of told me 12 months ago that I would be living in Queensland, working on a new career path, vegetarian, no intoxication and all of this after going away to spend 4 weeks living with monks with no distraction to find myself once again, I would have told you to get stuffed and you’re delusional,” he wrote in September.

“At this very moment I am the happiest I have ever been. I’m the best version of myself and I am so proud of the soul searching and confronting work I have done on myself to feel content, happy, grounded and at peace.”

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“I no longer regret my time on #MAFS but cherish the lessons and the experiences.” (Credit: Nine)

Natasha Spencer

Back in 2020, Natasha married Mikey Pembroke on MAFS and confessed that the five weeks of filming spiralled her into “the worst mental state that I had ever experienced”. She added that the public backlash that followed was even more damaging.

“Life is filled with tests and I needed something like this to shift me out of my comfort zone. I no longer regret my time on #MAFS but cherish the lessons and the experiences,” she wrote on Instagram one year after her reality TV experience.

Since, Natasha has quit drinking alcohol and has found love with fiancé Gary Green.

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Tash Herz struggled after her MAFS experience. (Credit: Nine)

Tash Herz

Natasha’s MAFS bestie and co-star Tash also struggled mentally after filming and the season airing.

In an Instagram post shared in 2020, Tash slammed her on-screen wife Amanda Micallef and shared that she decided to go public with her experience after receiving lots of questions from American fans.

“I want people to know what it was like for me, if they are curious or can’t understand through the editing and vilifying, what it was like to be constantly asked why you don’t want to be around someone that feels they are owed physical affection, love and fame no matter how many times you have explained, kindly, that you do not feel comfortable giving them that,” she penned.

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“Now more than ever it’s important to check in with your loved ones.” (Credit: Nine)

Tracey Jewel

In 2018 Married at First Sight star Tracey Jewel revealed she had admitted herself into a mental health clinic, after overdosing while stranded in Europe. 

“I’ve been bullied and cyber-trolled relentlessly, pretty much all year,” she told New Idea.

I’m not someone who has a history of depression, but I started getting help in April because the psychologist said I might have post-traumatic stress disorder because of everything I’d been through.”

Since then, Tracey has found love with husband Nathan Constable and welcomed baby son Frankie.

“Now more than ever it’s important to check in with your loved ones.. and yourself! @ruokday encourages all of us to not only ask r u ok but to listen, point them in the right direction and offer support if we can. We are all in this together,” she wrote on R U OK Day 2021.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636.

Visit the R U OK Day website for more details.

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