TAMARA Ecclestone has opened up candidly about her battle with mental health, which she says made her unable to let her daughter out of her sight for more than six minutes.

The Formula One heiress and eldest daughter of supremo Bernie Ecclestone also highlighted that despite her family’s estimated $3.4billion fortune, her lifelong claustrophobia means she has never used a high spec lift in her Kensington pad - sitting just a few doors down from Prince William and Kate.

In an interview with happiful magazine, the 33-year-old model has revealed her fight with parental separation anxiety since becoming a mum to three year old daughter Sophia, claustrophobia and ornithophobia - an irrational fear of birds.

Aside from the impact on her marriage with her Essex-born property developer husband Jay Rutland – the couple haven’t spent a single night in bed alone in the last two-and-a-half years – Tamara admits she struggles greatly with parental separation anxiety.

It has meant date nights have been limited as she admitted Sophia might ‘need the boob’.

She confesses that, up until very recently, the longest time she had been apart from Sophia was six minutes, and that was while she was backstage before an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women. Tamara experienced sweating palms, a common symptom of anxiety.

The model and socialite admits despite only ever knowing boundless wealth, private jets and all the trimmings, money is no substitute for good mental health.

She said: “Money makes life easier and decisions easier – it’s a big thing that I don’t need to worry about.

“But if you’re the type of person that is prone to depression, money can’t buy health and I truly don’t believe money can buy you happiness. True love has nothing to do with money, neither does giving birth.

“I’ve had more anxiety since I became a mum, and it’s something I need to work on and deal with. I was never an anxious person before I had Sophia, but now I have serious anxiety about anything happening to my daughter.”

While every parent frets about their child going missing, the threat of Sophia being kidnapped is very real, very serious, and entirely conceivable.

In 2012, her dad Bernie was targeted by a conman who threatened to abduct Tamara unless he paid a £200,000 ransom. A year ago, Tamara’s step-grandmother, Aparecida Schunck, 67, was abducted from her home in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The kidnappers threatened to behead Schunck unless the family paid £28 million.
She was eventually rescued, but it shook the Ecclestones to their core.

In light of these gruesome facts, recent sneering at Tamara’s private entourage of bodyguards seems misjudged.

“I’d never leave my house if I worried about it too much,” says Tamara, who employs security 24/7 to protect her and Sophia everywhere they go – even to the park.

She said: “Sophia is the most important thing in my life so I have measures in place to make things as safe as possible. At the same time, we have to live a normal life. It’s a really fine balance. I would never want her to feel different.”

“Sophia talks to them so maybe she just thinks they’re friends. She likes them. It’s such a short time in her life, and for her to feel loved is her security that makes her who she is and shapes her for life.”

Like any mum, the idea of Sophia experiencing pain is unbearable. “The thought of anyone ever hurting her, a child picking on her, or bullying her, is heartbreaking.

She’s at nursery now and I literally sit up at night thinking: ‘What if someone’s mean to her? What if someone doesn’t want to sit next to her?’ I could literally weep.”

And on Sophia’s first day at nursery in January, Tamara did just that.

“I sat outside in the car for three hours, crying my eyes out and Jay was telling me that I was a lunatic,” says Tamara. “I was watching my phone, thinking: “The nursery staff are going to need me to come back.

“But they didn’t. I feel like I’m always worried. Is she going to fall over? Have I forgotten something? Is her smock clean for school? Everyone has a certain level of anxiety. Nobody’s life is perfect.”

“I’ve just got to get my head around the fact that I’m not going to be there to pick her up every time she falls over, and that’s the brutal reality.”

Highlighting her ‘attachment parenting’ with her daughter, Tamara believes it gives her daughter “independence”.

She continued: “Sophia is not craving or seeking out my attention, or worrying that she’s been abandoned. And because she has my attention 24/7 she’s developed her own personality. This way of parenting encourages her to be outgoing.”

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About Memiah

We provide the listing of thousands of accredited mental health professionals: Counselling Directory, Therapy Directory, Nutritionist Resource, Hypnotherapy Directory and Life Coach Directory.

Since starting in 2005, our aim sees us continue to promote a happier and healthier society and we have helped more than a million people to find the support they need.

Our journey has seen us launch a mental health magazine on Monday, March 20, 2017 - the International Day of Happiness.

Since October, we have been circulated nationwide and have featured exclusive interviews with Louise Thompson, Dodie Clark, Katie Piper, Tamara Ecclestone, Denise Welch, Jeff Brazier, Amy Willerton and Matt Johnson - all candidly discussing their mental health.

Please credit and link any releases published back to the relevant directory or Happiful magazine.