Joey Essex has won high praise from viewers after his Joey Essex: Grief and Me documentary on BBC One, where he opened up on his mother taking her own life when he was a child.
Joey saw a therapist during the show’s production, and spoke about issues he never had before, including revealing he suffers from depression himself.
The 30-year-old TOWIE star was ten when he lost his mum, and said he could not talk about it for years.
“I was never ready,” he said. “It was only two or three years ago, I think I was 27, where I sort of just started to be able to say ‘Mum’.”
Joey’s mother Tina took her own life in 2001 after battling depression, which she hid from her children.
Joey said: “After what happened, my life was torn to pieces. My anxiety was through the roof, my depression.
“I used to go to hospital all the time thinking something was wrong with me. I don’t know why, I couldn’t explain it.
“It was anger I suppose. You ask yourself, ‘why, why, why’.”
He continued to say his mother’s death has made it difficult for him to form lasting relationships.
“I just think to myself: If she loved me that much, how can a girl ever love me, because my mum left me, but she loved me more than any other girl is going to love me, but she left me like that?” he told his therapist.
“I’ve had loads of relationships but I always end up pushing them away.
“Imagine if I was with someone and I had kids with them and I really did love that person and then she left me.
“I wouldn’t know what to do. I’m already thinking we’re gonna break up before we’re together. I’m pushing it away.”
One viewer tweeted: “How heartbreaking was that Joey Essex .. i know ya mum would be looking down on you and she would be so proud of the kind loving gentleman you have grown into … you done really well on opening up about what grief does to people @JoeyEssex_#griefandme “.
Another wrote: “Thank you for sharing your incredibly powerful story @JoeyEssex_. You have highlighted just how important it is for children and young people to process emotions early in development and access the support they deserve whilst knowing it’s okay to be vulnerable #griefandme “.
A third added: ” # griefandme Joey Essex you are so brave, you had me in tears, your mum would be so proud, I am so sure of that!”.
* Joey Essex: Grief and Me is available to watch back on iPlayer