Alex Jones has shared an update on her husband Charlie Thomson’s struggles with his mental health after revealing last year he was going through a ‘really bad period.’
The One Show presenter, 45, has been married to the insurance broker since 2015 and they share three children together.
Speaking on Gaby Logan’s Midpoint podcast, Alex shared that Charlie is ‘in a much better place now,’ than he was a year earlier.
She also revealed Charlie had put much more focus on his diet, and cooking for his family had been a huge benefit to his mental health on days when he was struggling.
In January, Alex revealed Charlie had become a ‘shadow of himself’ as he battled with his mental health, and she said she watched him ‘fall apart’ after becoming seriously ill with Lyme Disease and viral meningitis.
Heartbreaking: Alex Jones has shared an update on her husband Charlie Thomson’s struggles with his mental health after revealing last year he was going through a ‘really bad period’
Alex told Gabby: ‘I think what drives me is the fact that we have got three young children, and I feel, for them, I need to do my best to preserve myself.
‘Mum and dad have always been healthy, growing up we’ve always eaten a balanced diet, but more so, Charlie and I are focused on that.’
She continued: ‘He also wasn’t very well last year,’ before Gabby asked: ‘How is he now?’
Alex then replied: ‘He’s good, yes. He’s in a way better place now to where we were a year ago but diet has played a huge part in that. We always eat relatively well but he’s quite into nutrition.
‘I think it was a way for him as well to fill his days in a sense when he wasn’t feeling well.
‘And he decided to take on this kind of role of, right well we’ve got the medication but I’m going to see what else I can do to help myself.
‘He used to be a chef so cooking and food is very much something he loves and it brings him a lot of joy.
‘I’m very lucky he cooks most meals, but I do say it’s a glory job because nobody says ”you stacked that dishwasher so well,” so he does all the cooking but we eat really well.
Candid: The One Show presenter shared that her husband of eight years is ‘in a much better place now,’ than he was a year earlier
Hardworking: She also revealed Charlie had put much more focus on his diet, and cooking for his family had been a huge benefit to his mental health
‘Lots of pulses, lots of greens, lots of vegetables, and this thing that was news to me that five to 10 a day isn’t enough, it’s the variety, eat the rainbow, I say it on a loop to my children. ‘
Alex then joked: ‘Charlie makes all their meals, which is brilliant so they eat really well. Don’t get me wrong Annie was having sugar at six months, Ted didn’t even see sugar until he was three.’
In an interview on the How To Fail podcast, mother-of-three Alex said Charlie went ‘downhill fast mentally’ with the health scares spiraling him into a dark depression as she opened up on struggling to fully understand his struggles and his own fears that she is ‘losing him’.
Alex said: ‘It’s my husband’s own story to tell, so I won’t go into detail, but he suffers with his mental health and we’ve just been through a really bad period where, bless him, he had Lyme Disease and then he had viral meningitis. Lots of things that happened recently.
‘Charlie’s super fun, but he became a shadow of himself. He was so ill, he really went downhill fast mentally.
‘And again I found myself at a loss thinking “Oh my God, I don’t know what to do here”. We all talk about a good game, but do we actually know how to help people?’
Alex said while Charlie was ‘coming up the other side in peaks and troughs’ there was a time when she couldn’t recognize her bubbly, fun husband.
She said on the How to Fail podcast: ‘I thought I was losing him, as in not actually losing him. But I thought “Oh my God, where is he? I can’t see him”.
‘I was looking at him and I’m thinking “I’m looking and hearing somebody who’s not my husband.”‘
The couple met at a party in 2011 and got married four years later, and went on to have children Teddy, five, Kit, three, and Annie, 23 months.
Alex reveals she struggles to understand Charlie’s mental health battle and has been honest with him in lengthy conversations.
She said: ‘He tries to explain it, and I said “Do you think I’m a terrible person because I don’t quite get it?”
‘And he says “No, but because you’re trying to get it, I love you for that”. But he said it is hard to fully understand it.
‘I listen to many podcasts where depression is discussed at length. And some of the time I feel if you’re really depressed – and I’ve seen it in the last few months – you’re not alright enough to be on a podcast. And I’m confused as to where we are.
‘You feel the pressure because suddenly you’re the bread winner, you’re the parent who is functioning.
‘Just life admin is now your responsibility, plus the person you love most is falling apart in front of you and you’re trying to piece them together without proper understanding of how best to go about that.’
Alex said as a family they have been ‘knocked for six’.
She said: ‘I wouldn’t go into detail because Charlie’s super private, but I think it’s worth sharing because it knocks you for six as a family – not just the person going through it, but the person that then has to deal with the fall out of the whole thing.
‘It’s full on.’
Asked what advice she’d give families experiencing what hers has been going through, she replied: ‘The only advice I can give is what we did and seek professional help, because I don’t feel equipped to.
‘So I just went really gently. I let him have the time. And you do feel frustrated, especially when you don’t realize the magnitude of it.
‘Because you think, “Oh my God, well, ok, I’ll sort everything else out while this is going on”. But you very quickly see “Oh gosh, this is super serious”.
‘And I just went very, very gently. We do talk a lot as a couple. So we talked a lot about it and I said “I’m worried because I’m not sure I feel equipped to know how to help” and he said “if you can just research and find the best person”.
Tough time: In January, Alex revealed Charlie had become a ‘shadow of himself’ as he battled with his mental health
‘And it’s hard because the NHS are backed up beyond belief. People can’t get appointments who desperately need appointments, especially in the mental health sector.
‘And we’re lucky because we could pay and get help quicker. But I think the only way to approach it is professional.
‘I said “What I found is, probably the first step is we need to go to the GP. then these are the people, I’ve got three options for you, do you think you want to ring any of these people and have an initial chat?”
‘And he was like “Well this person sounds a bit more like somebody I could open up to”. And I took the legwork out of it for him is what saved it in the end.’
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details