Could Cheryl Cole have agoraphobia?

Could Cheryl Cole have agoraphobia?

By Liz Lockhart

Derek Hough, an American dancer, reportedly ended his one-year relationship with Cheryl Cole telling friends he was no longer able to cope with Cheryl’s frailties, according to a report  in the Mirror today (20th June 2011). 

He said he was unable to cope with her 'living like a recluse'. This has once again sparked fears over her fragile state of mind.

The dancer’s stepfather, Aaron Nelson, confirmed the break-up last night, telling the Sunday Mirror:

‘It’s sad – but it was just not working out.  Derek just wants to move on with his life.’

The report goes on to say that Derek ended the relationship two weeks ago, just before Cheryl was axed from her judging role on the US X Factor

She refuses to leave her room for days

Derek is reported to have told a friend ‘I love that girl with all my heart, but I just can’t do it anymore. I have done everything I can to pick Cheryl up.  But every time I am with her she refuses to leave her room for days and days’.

‘It’s not healthy behaviour and doesn’t make for a healthy relationship.  It’s tough but I have to leave Cheryl and get on with my life.’

Derek moved to Toronto , Canada, about two months ago to begin filming in a new film.  Cheryl had just arrived in Los Angeles to get ready for the launch of X Factor.

Cheryl is reported to have refused to visit Derek in Canada when she had time off.  Derek is now telling friends that Cheryl may suffer from a mild form or agoraphobia.

The Mirror reports that a friend of Derek’s said:

‘Derek didn’t understand why Cheryl  never wanted to go out.  Often she would never leave her room, and it was touch on him because he is such an outgoing, fun-loving guy.  The whole time they were together, Derek always did his best to encourage Cheryl to get out and enjoy herself, and at first he had some success.’

She could go for two weeks without leaving her hotel room

‘But the longer he was with her, the more difficult he found it just to get her to leave the house.  When she was in LA, she could go for two weeks without leaving her hotel room, which would send Derek nuts.  He started to miss having a normal life.  But the last straw came when Cheryl failed to spend time with him when he was in Canada.’

Reunited with Ashley?

There have also be several reports that Cheryl, 27, is once again friendly with her ex-husband Ashley Cole and is even considering taking him back.

The pair have been regularly talking on the phone but could the cheating footballer have changed his ways?

A friend is reported to have said ‘Everyone knew Derek and Cheryl would drift apart eventually.  Derek has been wonderful support for her during the last year, but there was a real lack of spark between them.’

‘With Ashley it is so different.  He is still the one person who can make Cheryl smile when she feels down.  The truth she’s still in love with Ashley.’

‘He has been there for her over the last few days and is desperate for them to try again.  Cheryl is certain in her own mind that he’s turned over a new leaf.


Friends are still concerned about the state of Cheryl’s mind.  Cheryl has spoken about suffering from depression in the past.

She was due to go, last week, to the wedding of her friend Claire Mitchell who works for Girls Aloud.  Cheryl cancelled at the last minute but the other Girls Aloud members all attended the ceremony at a venue near Newbury, Berks.

In an article in The Sun today it is reported that ‘Love cheat Ashley Cole was last night bragging that he WILL win back his ex-wife, Cheryl, after wooing her during a night spent together at their old home’.

The report goes on the say that he is boasting that it is a ‘done deal’ and that Cheryl is now wondering if they could still have a future together despite their marriage having been wrecked by the soccer star’s affairs.  She has admitted to feelings for the man who broke her heart.

A note from Cheryl

Meanwhile, yesterday, 19th June 2011, Cheryl wrote a letter to all her fans on her website entitled ‘A Message From Cheryl to Her Soldiers’ in which she writes:

‘Where do I start?  I have had the weirdest past few weeks (nothing unusual there though.)  I wouldn’t even know how to begin to tell you all about it.  What I do know for certain is that I have the BEST, most unbelievable people out there, who I feel so lucky to call my support system.  You never fail to amaze me.  I have been reading your letters and opening my prezzies (I feel very spoilt) and hearing all of your kind, special and inspiring things you want to say to me.’

She goes on to say ‘I want to PROMISE you that I am absolutely fine and more than ok!’

A word from Uncovered

Can we really know what the truth is?  Should we believe everything we read in the press? 

Our editor Charlotte Fantelli comments ‘Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder, a sufferer will typically experience intense fear over situations from which they can not easily escape, many agoraphobics end up housebound as a result.

Cheryl has been through a very tough time in the public eye and while her behaviour could indicate that she is suffering anxiety, I feel it is harmful to speculate that it is a mental illness and not simply a ‘natural reaction’ to recent events, as there is a big leap from one to the other. Press reports without facts are not helpful in educating on the difference. Sometimes we all need time to lick our wounds and heal in private and of course we wish Cheryl well.’

One thing that is for sure is that if Cheryl is suffering from agoraphobia then our hearts go out to her.  Let us all hope that the reports are wrong but if that is not the case she will need to get good advice and treatment.  Some of us have personal experience of agoraphobia and it can be healed. 

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder please see our page on anxiety disorders for more about what they are and how they can be treated.

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