Amanda Abbington thinks she and Martin Freeman have done “irreparable damage” to their children.
The 47-year-old actress has son Joe, 15, and daughter Grace, 12, with her former partner – who she split from in 2016 after 16 years together – insisted she couldn’t be a “Stepford Wife parent” and would rather be open with her kids about their experiences and what they are feeling.
Speaking during an Instagram Live for the It’s OK mental health campaign, she said: “I think it’s unsettling if I pretend I’m this Stepford Wife parent.
“Nobody is. I’m sure I’ve given them irreparable damage and they will be going to therapy because of me and Martin at some point.
“If I can teach them to talk about it, say there’s nothing to be frightened of or ashamed of with whatever you’re going through.
“Whether you get drunk or try drugs, whatever you do — this place where we live is a safe place where you can say whatever you like.
“That’s what I am striving for and what Martin strives for as well — to create a place where they’re not hiding anything.”
The ‘Sherlock’ star refuses to “hide” any of her own mental health struggles from her children and wants them to know when she’s finding things “hard” so it doesn’t become a “dirty secret” to be ashamed of.
She said: “To hide this from my children, that sometimes I get depressed or if I’m on antidepressants, what are you saying about all these mental health issues? Are you saying they’re offensive and shouldn’t happen? I don’t want that.”
Amanda – whose four-year romance with actor Jonjo O’Neill ended in January – admitted she spent years “hating” herself but regular therapy has helped her to overcome her insecurities.
She said: “I hated myself for so many years. I thought I wasn’t good enough for any relationship, I wasn’t good enough for my parents or any situation and being in regular therapy it’s like, ‘Yeah, I am, I’m alright.’ “
The ‘Mr. Selfridge’ actress also discussed online bullying and recalled how upset her son once was when he found a troll had wished her dead on Twitter.
She said: “The idea that someone has the mentality to throw those things out to people without even thinking the ripple effect of that. It’s the casual hate I find really upsetting.”