Former Emmerdale star and Hear'Say singer Suzanne Shaw has said her decision to stop drinking alcohol has helped her to address the depression and anxiety she has lived with for nearly two decades.

The Press Association reports that the 39-year-old told Runner's World magazine that she no longer has the "self-loathing" that came with drinking alcohol.

"I've struggled with depression and anxiety for more than 18 years," she said.

"But it was only recently that I felt ready to open up about it because I wanted things to change.

"For years, I had been hoping my mental health issues would just go away, but it never happened; instead, I was having more dark days."

Shaw said she gave up alcohol after she developed an "unhealthy" relationship with it.

"Along with eating rubbish and hiding away when I was anxious, I would turn to drink as a quick fix," she continued.

"I became an ambassador for One Year No Beer, where there is a supportive community while you are on its programme.

"Not only do I now not have hangovers, I also don't have the self-loathing I had before."

The full interview with Shaw is in the new issue of Runner's World.

If you have been affected by issues raised in this story, please visit: