Beverley Callard on mental health

I’m A Celebrity: Beverley Callard underwent electroconvulsive therapy to combat depression

Left her laying on the floor and unable to walk, wash or talk

I’m A Celebrity contestant Beverley Callard has previously suggested she will rely on medication for life to battle her depression.

She also spent two months in the Priory in February 2009 as family illness and business interests overwhelmed her.

But the Coronation Street star has also undergone electroconvulsive therapy to treat the symptoms of her illness.

Her doctor reportedly claimed the medication Beverley, 63, was taking would “literally put a horse to sleep”.

I’m A Celebrity star Beverley Callard said ECT is “frightening” (Credit: ITV)

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And so she underwent 12 bouts of electroconvulsive therapy that left her lying on the floor and unable to walk, wash or talk.

She described the experience – which involves sending an electric current through the brain to trigger an epileptic fit – as “frightening”.

You can get better and you will get better – given the right help.

Her husband, Jon McEwan, stayed by her bedside and she credits him for saving her from two attempts on her life.

She reflected on his support to the Mirror: “He stood by me, through everything. He never gave up trying to understand my torment.”

Corrie's Liz McDonald, played by Beverley Callard
As Corrie’s Liz McDonald (Credit: ITV)

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Beverley Callard’s fight back from depression

Jon’s devotion was crucial to her recovery as it wasn’t known whether Beverley would improve due to the severity of her symptoms.

She noted how the therapy meant he witnessed her in the foetal position with matted hair and incapable of moving or speaking.

Beverley added: “By being there, by staying right by my side, he proved he loved me no matter what.

“He proved I had lots to live for, that I could be happy again – even when the future looked black.”

Jon also had to give consent for the ECT as Beverley couldn’t make a decision herself.

Beverley Callard appears on Loose Women
Beverley is the oldest campmate in the 2020 series of I’m A Celebrity (Credit: Loose Women YouTube)

She also noted the treatment caused her to lose short term memory – which she worried would affect her job at Corrie.

The star added to the BBC: “For the first six months out of hospital, I couldn’t write my own name.”

Having lived with depression for thirty years, Beverley has previously said she recommends visiting a doctor and talking.

She advised: “You can get better and you will get better – given the right help. I think you’ve got to come round to the idea that you’ve got to be strong enough to ask for help and that’s hard.”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues tonight (Monday, November 16) at 9pm on ITV.

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