Trevor McDonald health: Journalist recalls past health struggle – 'It's a bit difficult'

Sir Trevor McDonald has reported on many events that have shaped modern history but they all pale in comparison to the colossal event of the coronavirus pandemic, he told his former co-presenter Julie Etchingham on an episode of the ITV News podcast Coronavirus: What You Need To Know last year. “I don’t remember a story which has so internationally involved us all”, Sir Trevor told Julie. The former presenter of ITV’s News at Ten spoke about the personal toll the lockdown had taken on his mental health.

He divulged: “It is very, very strange to go through a week knowing that you have so few things which are absolutely planned.

“It’s a bit difficult having all the time on your hands.

“In my personal case, the lack of social contact and having to stay in a lot is at times fairly depressing, really. You just have to try and find ways of dealing with it.”

He expressed a sense of helplessness at the time, revealing that he had not done “terribly well” at finding coping mechanisms.

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Just over a fifth of people in Britain experienced some form of depression between January 27 and March 7 2021, more than double the pre-pandemic figure, according to ONS data.

The impact was felt more acutely in younger adults, women and people who live alone – with 43 percent of women aged between 16 to 29 reporting some form of depression.

The data also shows a steep retreat in the number of people seeking help for their depression.

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The ONS found that during the first stage of the pandemic between March 23 and August 31 2020, there was almost a 30 percent drop in the number of people being diagnosed with depression by their GP compared to 2019.

How do I know if I am depressed? What to look for

There are many signs and symptoms of depression, and they will differ depending on a person’s specific circumstances.

In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits.

“It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile,” explains mental health charity Mind.

“At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal.”

Depression help

The treatment you receive for depression will be based on the type of depression you have.

Generally, treatment for depression usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medicines, explains the NHS.

If you are feeling suicidal or need to talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can call 116 123 or email



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