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Megan Barton Hanson has been praised for her 'raw' post on suicidal ideation

‘I’m far from fixed.’

MEGAN BARTON HANSON was easily one of the most controversial contestants in this year’s series of Love Island.

The 24-year-old dominated headlines during her time in the villa, with focus on both her appearance and her approach to her fellow contestants.

However, it’s fair to say that Megan has made a valiant effort to shed the persona she cultivated during her time on the reality TV show, slowing sharing insights into her experience of mental illness amid intense media scrutiny.

And this week, she added her voice to the dialogue surrounding World Mental Health Day in an Instagram post which has been lauded for its honesty.

Sharing an animated image of a girl crying in a wardrobe, Megan wrote:

I’ve put writing this off all day as depression and anxiety are still pretty raw for me and part of who I am. Mental health issues are more common than ever especially with the increased use of social media and the resulting feelings of inadequacy.

Possibly anticipating that her decision to take part in a reality show during a period of emotional turmoil would be brought into question, Megan offered an insight into her thought process at the time.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that it took so much just to get the mental strength for me to get out of bed and face the world each morning. A lot of people cant get their heads around why if I was so depressed and suffering from anxiety I would go on a reality show. For me it’s was a make or brake moment. I’d suffered on and off with mental health problems since my teens. (sic)

Megan recalls the months leading up to her participation in the show, and the coping mechanisms she used in an effort to overcome her illness.

At the end of 2017/early 2018 was probably the lowest I’d ever felt. There were a few times that I just didn’t want to wake up, I had suicidal thoughts, and had even gone to my mum sobbing about what I should do as I didn’t want to be alive anymore. My way of coping was putting on a persona for social media, partying, earning money and buying half of Harrods.

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A post shared by Megan Barton-Hanson (@meganbartonhanson_) on

“None of it helped, maybe for five mins (sic) it distracted me from what was going on inside but as soon as I was back in my flat on my own the negative thoughts and emotions would return,” she recalls.

I was sad and lonely with it, my own mind working against me. I did some therapy and that helped me by providing techniques for coping in moments of crisis.

Megan said she now views Love Island as a rehab retreat, but at the time she thought it would ‘make her famous, earn her lots of money and bring her happiness.”

“Meeting people and experiencing them loving me not for the persona I was presenting online gave me strength and made me realise that I need to love myself more,” she wrote.

Megan concluded her post with a nod to her current coping mechanisms.

I’m far from fixed and still have moments but when I do I let someone know, I talk it through, I tell myself that although in this moment I feel weak it will pass.

Support for Megan was instant, with the post amassing more than 111,000 likes.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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