She’s famously for playing feisty barmaid Liz McDonald in Coronation Street. But now actress Beverley Callard has opened up about a far more difficult part of her life – her struggle with clinical depression.

The Corrie legend has admitted to battling depression since 2009, but in 2016 it finally became too much. Beverley decided to take some time out and was written out of the ITV soap. In a recent interview with Yours magazine, she’s opened up about her struggle. The 60-year-old actress certainly didn’t downplay how tough her mental illness has been. She said, “Overcoming clinical depression is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

“At first no one knew I was struggling,” says Beverley, 59. “I wanted to keep it a secret.

“But I was getting worse and worse each day. I was getting ready in my dressing room and I couldn’t take it any more. Liz had to be dressed up for a certain scene – she had to wear a PVC outfit.

“Fear took over and I started to cry. I thought, ‘I’m not confident enough to put this on. I can’t do it’.”

But thankfully, Beverley has revealed that she’s finally feeling better. Speaking about her road to recovery, in an interview with Yours magazine, she said: “I’m really well, and feel like I’m back to normal.]

Prior to her exit from the show, Beverley’s character, Liz, was part of a depression storyline. “That was an enormous storyline in the show and Liz reacted in totally the wrong way,” says Beverley. “The worst way possible… but that is exactly how I’d expect Liz’s character to respond because she would not have any empathy with that sort of thing at all.”

“I have to be sensible – I’m a workaholic and have to try to relax more, which I don’t find easy.”

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Beverley’s road to recovery…

Beverley continued to say, “I never thought it would happen to me – I am a strong female, and very feisty. But I think depression has a tendency to affect strong people, as we keep going no matter what.

She added that her hectic schedule and need to be perfect probably added to the pressure she put on herself. “We take everything on, and I’m a perfectionist – I learn my lines way too early. And I’m also something of a people pleaser.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself. It helps that I still teach fitness classes twice a week – and an added benefit is that the weight I’ve put on due to medication is slowly shifting.”

Tweeting previously about her stuggle without medication, Beverley wrote, “Been battling the demons of depression! One of the meds I’m on has been stopped by pharmaceutical company, apparently it doesn’t make money”.