Dani Dyer has said she hopes her own experience struggling with anxiety “encourages” young women and fellow mothers to speak to someone if they are having mental health issues.
The Love Island winner, who is the daughter of EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, was speaking ahead of the release of her new documentary Dani Dyer: Is This Anxiety? on E4.
In the programme, Dyer explores how after giving birth to her son Santiago – who she shares with a former partner – in January 2021, the pressures and loneliness of being a new mother caused her anxiety to spiral.
The 26-year-old reality TV star also revealed in January that she is expecting twins, who she later said were identical twin girls, with Premier League footballer Jarrod Bowen.
Speaking about the new show, she told the PA news agency: “I just feel like, obviously, anxiety, mental health is spoken about, but I still feel like there is that stigma around motherhood and how you’re supposed to feel when you become a mum.
“So I just feel like it was something to talk about, and definitely encourage other young women, and obviously, other mums to speak up if they feel like they really need to, and I really hope that sort of comes across like that on the documentary.”
Dyer also said that West Ham United and England winger Bowen, 26, who she described as “so laid back” and “chilled”, has “never really suffered from anxiety”.
She added: “If I ever sort of share with (him) how I’m feeling, he’s really, really good at just sort of getting them thoughts out of my brain.
“I think that’s really important as well, to have a partner that can sort of laugh with you, cry with you, and just understand you really.
“I think that’s so important to have a partner that you also really fancy but also (is) your best friend as well.”
Dyer, whose family and friends appear in the 60-minute programme, also reflects on how not having the same support impacts other people.
She said: “Not everyone has family around the corner, not everyone has mommy friends, so it’s finding them… It’s just reaching out and not sitting in and letting your thoughts take over.
“It’s just going right, OK, I want to make a change, I want to make a difference for myself, I want to be happy.”
In the show, Dyer also reveals how she was coping with the isolating loneliness of being a new mother, as well as how the weight of being a “good mum” has negatively impacted her and many other mothers’ mental health.
To understand more about the rise in anxiety in young mothers, she is seen talking to a variety of new mothers who have also been impacted.
Dyer told PA: “I mean, they were honestly such amazing women, they were so great to film and I know how hard it was for them to share their stories, but they also felt like they wanted to share their stories because they wanted to help other people as well.
“I feel like the women we follow, they’ve all got their own things and what were their triggers? And I think that’s what’s kind of important really to just sort of show how anxiety can affect people in so many different ways, whether it’s emotionally, physically.”
Dyer, who won the 2018 series of Love Island alongside former boyfriend Jack Fincham, dated Sammy Kimmence before she starred on the reality show.
She later rekindled her romance with Kimmence after her split from TV personality Fincham and they went on to have Santiago.
Dyer then separated from Kimmence, who was jailed for three-and-a-half years in 2021 for defrauding two pensioners out of more than £34,000.
She has also starred alongside her soap actor father on a number of shows and they co-host a podcast, Sorted With The Dyers.
Dani Dyer: Is This Anxiety? will air on E4 and All 4 on May 1 at 9pm.