Speaking at a women in business event in London on Monday, the BBC presenter explained she burst into tears in front of her doctor as a result of the exhaustion and anxiety she was suffering from.
“I was absolutely knackered and getting slightly anxious. I thought ‘I’m not good at my job anymore,” Derbyshire recalled, explaining she first received treatment for depression 10 years ago when she had her own show on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I went to the doctors and said I wasn’t sleeping, and after I’d given the long list of symptoms I said ‘but I don’t think I’m depressed’. The doctor said ‘I think you are’.”
The doctor’s words prompted an emotional outpour, the 51-year-old said at the event, which was hosted by The Telegraph.
“I cried, because when someone’s nice and kind to you, you cry. We walked through things I could do to get me out of this period. I said I would like some antidepressants and she agreed, and she said take two weeks off work.”
The mother-of-two added that she felt “absolutely relieved” after telling her boss that she needed to take time off work due to her depression, during which time she slept for “hours and hours”.
“[My boss] was lovely and kind and said ‘of course you must, what can I do to help?’,” Derbyshire remembered.
“You’ve got to tell someone, ask for help, open up,” she added. “No matter how anxious you are, people are kind – just tell someone and they’ll help you.”