Actress Gemma Oaten has opened up about suffering panic attacks when she left Emmerdale last year.
She starred in the soap as Rachel Breckle, who left the village to start a new life after a nasty custody battle with Jai Sharma.
But things didn’t go as she’d hoped following her exit as she struggled to find work,.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “This time last year, I’m very open, I was in an absolute state. I started having anxiety and panic attacks.
“It wasn’t an easy time because I couldn’t get my foot in the door and the work wasn’t coming in.”
As the 32-year-old persevered with pursuing her acting dream, she continued:
“My savings were waning, and I’d go work behind a bar tomorrow, I’m not a diva, but you know you do that, and I’ve seen stories in the press before, you do then get people saying, ‘Oh, your career’s over’.
“I just had to keep fighting and working hard and luckily it’s starting to pay off.”
Gemma has since landed a guest role in Holby City as agency nurse Sydney, and fans are calling for her to be a permanent addition to the cast.
She’s also starring in a production of Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced, which will tour the country in June.
And on top of all that, she’s working on a feature film of her own.
“I’ve been working on [it] for a year. We’re getting to a point now where we’ve got a few big names in talks.
“I’ll be played the lead and we’re getting investment slowly but surely. My dream this year is to get this film made, I suppose whilst I’m touring in Agatha Christie and doing more Holby.
“It’s feast or famine, but I love what I do and I’ve just got to hope that people keep giving me the opportunities to go one step higher.”