Liz Mcclarnon was happy to step away from Atomic Kitten and let bandmate Natasha Hamilton take a break - because she understands what it's like to suffer depression.

The chart-topping girl group temporarily split last month (03) so Hamilton, who fell victim to clinical depression after the birth of her baby son JOSH, could spend more time with the nine-month-old.

And McClarnon was able to sympathise with Hamilton's condition - because she too suffered with the debilitating mental illness.

Liz, 23, explains, "When Tash was going through a really bad time I knew exactly what she was feeling. When I was 20, 21, I went through misery.

"It was depression and I kept fainting because I wasn't hearing or sleeping properly.

"I lost loads of weight too - I went down to eight and a half stone which is really too low for my size.

"I went through such a bad patch. On paper my life looked idyllic, but there were things that had huge effects on me."

29/04/2004 13:39