Frankie Bridge details how paranoia convinced her she had killed her son
Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge has opened up about her personal mental health struggles, detailing one incident where she convinced herself that she had inadvertently killed her son.
A former member of the teen pop group S Club Juniors, Frankie Bridge’s real musical breakout happened after joining The Saturdays. One of many aspiring singers to audition for the girl band, she made the cut alongside Vanessa White, Mollie King, Una Healy and Rochelle Humes.
Formed in the summer of 2007, they stayed together for seven years – releasing four studio albums and headlining four concert tours within that time. However, while the band’s glory days came to an end almost a decade ago, Frankie has enjoyed continued success since then with the singer establishing herself as more than just a talented performer in the years that followed.
Making her Loose Women panel debut back in December of last year, many look to the new presenter as the epitome of confidence, but not everything is always as it seems and Frankie has been very forthcoming about her own personal mental health struggles.
Delving further into her experiences in her new book (Grow: Motherhood, Mental Health & Me), Bridge detailed one particularly scary incident in which a passing remark from a doctor was enough to convince her that she had inadvertently killed her eldest child.
Writing about the time she brought her son, Parker – now seven years old – for a chickenpox vaccination before he turned one, Frankie recalled a subsequent conversation she had with her local paediatrician who told her that, ideally, she should have waited until after Parker’s first birthday to vaccinate him. The comment resulted in a “complete meltdown” according to Bridge.
“My paranoia kicked into overdrive too and I became convinced I had killed my child, before he’d even really got the chance to live,” she wrote. Parker was never in any danger though, the vaccine would simply be ineffective. However, no amount of assurances from her doctor were enough to placate her and Frankie admitted to feeling like a “failure”, a “waste of space” who was “bound to let my kids down”.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that the musician’s paranoia has made her feel at “crisis” either, with things coming to a head as she was about to jet off for her honeymoon. Marrying partner Wayne Bridge in a ceremony nine months after their son was born, the couple were due to head off on holidays to celebrate… but Frankie suddenly couldn’t shake the worry that something might happen to them while away and Parker would have no one to care for him.
“This type of crisis moment is something I had dealt with throughout my life, but I had never been responsible for someone else,” she continued. “This compounded my paranoia and exacerbated my fears.” So much so that she had Wayne call his lawyer to discuss a plan in the event that either of them should die while abroad.
Also discussing how her body image changed while pregnant, she told Lorraine host Christine Lampard that she had always “suffered with controlled eating”, something that was “really difficult” to deal with while she was expecting. “On one hand I felt immense pride in the fact that my body was growing another human. [But] On the other hand, I also carried the immense weight of underlying shame.”
“I felt really ashamed that I’d lost control of my body,” she later added. “I felt embarrassed of my body and I felt like people were looking at me kind of thinking, ‘What is she doing up on stage? She shouldn’t be there’.”
A keen mental health advocate, Frankie has been an ambassador for Mind, a mental health charity in England and Wales, since 2016. Her new book Grow: Motherhood, Mental Health & Me is out now.