The mum-of-four hit a low point while battling back pain – for which she was taking a pain killer called codeine. Reflecting on her struggles, Ulrika fears an opioid crisis will soon impact the UK.
Ulrika Jonssen has discussed her history of using pain relief medication – and says she came close to feeling suicidal while taken prescription drugs.
Over the past 15 years of her life, Ulrika has suffered in silence from an enduring back pain that grew in intensity and eventually saw her trying a number of medications and treatments.
The star says epidural injections – which are usually administered during child birth – helped her combat the pain, but the effect was temporary.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Writing an article about her condition for The Sun, Ulrika said that she consequently suffered from high tension, anxiety and panic attacks due to her back pain and says pain killers helped to calm her down.
She said that she was administered codeine – a medication derived naturally from opium – but fears other medications being dished out by the NHS; namely tramadol and fentanyl, could be contributing to a possible opioid addiction crisis in the UK.
Discussing her own agonising back pain, Ulrika wrote that she hit two low points while battling her condition.
She said: “One was when I couldn’t be left alone with my two-year-old son because if he fell over or hurt himself, I was incapable of lifting him up or going to his aid.
“He would often have to be brought to me in bed so I could spend time with him because at times I struggled to move.”
Explaining how her thoughts turned completely dark, she continued, explaining; “The second low point was when I just didn’t want to go on with life itself.
“The thing that saved me was a friend whose breast cancer had come back a second time. My conscience was pricked by the ungratefulness for wanting to end my life at a time when my friend was so desperately clinging on to hers. They were dark times.”
She adds: “Greater discourse is needed — due to opioids’ addictive nature but also because they cost the NHS so much money.”
She went on to argue that she thinks some opioids have been great fro helping NHS patients combat various pains and aches, but says she worries an opioid epidemic could soon trip the UK like it has in parts of the USA.
Of her four children, former weather presenter Ulrika welcomed her first when she was married to her first husband, John Turnbull, in 1990 at the age of 23 with Cameron arriving when she was 27.
She divorced John in 1995 and went on to date footballer Stan Collymore, then later had a romance with German hotel manager Marcus Kempen – who she shares Bo with.
She embarked on a high-profile affair with former England football manager, and fellow Swede, Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2002 and that same year fell for a contestant named Lance Gerrard-Wright from the dating show Mr Right – who she married in 2003, divorced in 2006, and shares her daughter Martha.
She then married American advertising executive Brian Monet in 2008 but divorced in 2019 and together they share son Malcolm.
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