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Keeley Hawes admits work forces her to ‘carry on’ despite depression

Crossfire: Josette Simon teases series on BBC Breakfast

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For her portrayal of DI Denton, Keeley Hawes won the Best Leading Actress in the Crime Thriller Awards – and now she stars in a new edge-of-your-seat TV series. Showcasing for the first time on Tuesday, September 21, Crossfire centred on hotel guests who have their holiday ruined by murderous gunmen. From the creators of The Salisbury Poisonings and the writer of Apple Tree Yards, the BBC One drama follows Hawes, as mum Jo, who attempts to protect her family.

While Crossfire has only recently been released, Hawes already has projects for 2023 – and keeping busy is seemingly helpful for her mental health.

The 46-year-old revealed to the Mail On Sunday’s You magazine that depression “is something that [she] experienced”.

Sharing her feelings on the matter in August 2022, Hawes said: “You can look at people in the public eye and think, ‘Everything is great for them. What would they have to feel sad about?’

“That thing of thinking some people are immune. But everyone is human. I find it hugely helpful when I read other people’s experiences.

“It’s not that somebody else’s pain and upset makes you feel better, but it does make you feel less alone.”

While adding that’s she “not the poster girl for it”, she fears that “it’s something that never goes away”.

Although, admittedly, in a previous interview with You magazine in 2019, Hawes said that “keeping busy helps”.

The mother-of-three shared: “I think it’s in your DNA if you suffer with it…

“I have become better equipped at looking after myself. I’ve tried various things over the years.

“Keeping busy helps, being forced to carry on, because inevitably it will pass.”

Is depression heredity?

The NHS says that if there is a family history of depression, such as a parent or sibling suffering from the mental health condition, then it’s “more likely that you’ll also develop it”.

There are other contributing factors to developing depression, however, such as feeling lonely, the use of alcohol and drugs, and giving birth.

“I have become better equipped at looking after myself. I’ve tried various things over the years.

“Keeping busy helps, being forced to carry on, because inevitably it will pass.”

Is depression heredity?

The NHS says that if there is a family history of depression, such as a parent or sibling suffering from the mental health condition, then it’s “more likely that you’ll also develop it”.

There are other contributing factors to developing depression, however, such as feeling lonely, the use of alcohol and drugs, and giving birth.

Additional life circumstances can trigger episodes of depression too, such as: bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy, and/or money worries.

Early indicators of oncoming depression

“The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people,” the NHS says.

“If you’re depressed, you may feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy.”

Depressive symptoms tend to linger for weeks or months at a time, and it’s “bad enough to interfere with your work, social life and family life”.

Depression can lead to physical sensations too, such as unexplained aches and pains.

There can be “changes in appetite or weight”, some people may move or speak more slowly than usual, and there can be a loss of libido.

Disturbed sleep can also be a factor, such as finding it difficult to fall asleep at night.

Episode two of Crossfire continues on Wednesday, September 21 on BBC One at 9pm. The first episode is available now on BBC iPlayer.

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