Louise Minchin: BBC star speaks out on PTSD ordeal and ‘terrifying’ moment that sparked it

Louise Minchin, 51, is one of the faces of BBC Breakfast but many might be surprised to read that behind the scenes she has suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder. Following the arrival of her first daughter Mia, who is now 18 years old, the anxiety disorder was sparked after Louise burst her appendix six days after giving birth.

It’s all such a blur, I was so ill, and I was in hospital for about a week

Louise Minchin

Taking nine months to recover, she described that point in her life as “terrifying” in an interview with the Radio Times.

“When my daughter was born, my appendix burst six days later, which was terrifying,” Louise said.

“It’s all such a blur, I was so ill, and I was in hospital for about a week. It took nine months to feel physically better, but that’s when it hit me emotionally, and I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The admission comes after Louise signed up to take part in this year’s Sports Relief challenge called On Thin Ice, an epic adventure on Mongolia that would see a group of courageous celebs take on a gruelling triathlon with a perilous icy twist.


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The charity effort would raise money for numerous organisations, some of which are dedicated to helping people who are struggling with their mental health.

Speaking of her diagnosis, Louise explained: “My GP put me in touch with a charity, and I met an amazing woman there. I saw her a couple of times and she put me back on the road to recovery.

“So [the challenge] is a thank you to that person, to that charity, and to help people who are in similar positions to the one I was in then, so that they might have somebody that they can go and see. That’s why I’m doing it.”

Alas, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the whole thing was called off for fears of spreading the virus further.

“It was kind of a relief,” the BBC star admitted, after discovering the challenge was being called off due to concerns over the spread of Covid-19.

Instead, the group that had signed up for the charity cause undertook a 100-mile expedition across the Namib Desert on foot, bike and sand skis.

The expedition was very different to the icy temperatures the celebs were previously gearing up for, with the desert reaching temperatures of more than 35 degrees Celsius.

The host revealed she suffers from Raynaud’s condition, which affects circulation and would make being in cold weather uncomfortable.

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“I was really worried,” she confessed.

“I genuinely didn’t know if I was going to be able to make it through; I kept thinking that they might have to pull me off the challenge, and that would be devastating.”

No stranger to tests of physical endurance, Louise first announced her participation last month, after Sports Relief released their promo photos of this year’s line-up.

Spilling the beans about her new venture on Instagram, she admitted she was “nervous” ahead of the challenge.

Louise Minchin’s full interview is available in the Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

Alongside a photo of her wearing a cosy snow jacket, the Norseman triathlete wrote: “Thanks for all your messages about @sportrelief #OnThinIce.

“I am very nervous but also very excited and tomorrow live on @bbcbreakfast I am going to attempt to skate on those special ice-skates for the first time.”

“Let’s hope the challenge isn’t over before I even get to Mongolia!” she added, hinting at what’s to come.

Since the change, she revealed she was the first celebrity to be told that their expedition was being relocated.

She giggled: “Because they knew I’d still say yes!”

The full interview is available in the Radio Times, out today.

Sports Relief will begin on Monday 9 March on BBC.

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