Hollyoaks star opens up on being diagnosed with high-functioning autism in rehab

Former Hollyoaks star Stephanie Davis has opened up about her high functioning autism diagnosis.

The actress, who played Sinead O’Connor in the Channel 4 soap, was diagnosed in 2019 while in rehab, admitting that she was drinking too much at the time.

‘Before I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, drinking was the only thing I knew,’ she said.

‘I needed to drink a bottle of wine before a night out because of my
severe anxiety in social settings. I also needed to know the layouts of
places. So when I’d walk into somewhere new I’d go: “Right, the toilets
are there, the bar is there.”

Stephanie explained that her anxiety got ‘so bad’ that she felt she couldn’t leave the house without taking a drink, revealing that she saw alcohol as her ‘medicine’.

‘It was my best friend, but in the end it destroyed me to the point I wanted
to take my own life,’ she told OK! Magazine.

The Any Dream Will Do star told the publication that her parents ‘dragged her to rehab’ soon afterwards, and it was here that she was first learned of high-functioning autism.

‘My mental health was so bad, it wasn’t just addiction,’ she added. ‘That’s when a consultant psychiatrist recognised my traits and told me I had high-functioning autism, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.’

‘When I got the diagnosis, I didn’t really understand what it meant, but
as soon as I did my research I was like: “Whoa, that is me.”

‘Everything jumped out and it made me feel more at ease because I felt: “It’s not
just me.” It made me accept myself for the first time and start to look
forward. It was the biggest relief.’

Stephanie made her debut in Hollyoaks back in 2010, before departing in 2015. She reprised her role three years later in 2018.

The 28-year-old decided to step down from the soap in 2020, admitting it was ‘not what she wanted but what she knew was right’.

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