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I'm A Celebrity 2019: Richard Reid Opened Up About Grieving His Mother

Richard confided in Angie Kent on Thursday, telling her about his mum’s struggles with mental health and the impact it had on his family.

After Angie revealed that losing her grandmother had taken a toll on her mum, Richard revealed that his mum had been in and out of institutions for the past 30 years.

“About 20 years ago we thought she was down for the count, so depressed, wouldn’t move, in the hospital,” Richard said.

READ MORE: I’m A Celebrity 2019: Angie Kent Tells The Devastating Story Of Losing Her Grandmother

Finally, doctors suggested that his mother undergo Electroconvulsive therapy, commonly referred to as electroshock therapy or ECT.

While “electroshock therapy” conjures horrific images of patients strapped to a bed, undergoing painful high-doses of electricity, the more modern version has obviously been perfected to be a much safer procedure that is still used.

READ MORE: I'm A Celebrity 2019: Dermott Brereton's Heartbreaking Close Call With Bali Bombings

According to Beyond Blue, ECT is hugely effective for short term treatment of severe depression and mania in bipolar disorder.

The treatment involves an electric current being passed through the scalp, triggering a seizure. It’s a treatment that is only really considered after all other options have been exhausted and the case is severe enough to warrant it.

Richard described the procedure as being “really hard” but added, “it brought her back”.

“We got another 15 years of magic, you know? My mum was back.”

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I'm A Celebrity 2019: Richard Reid Opened Up About Grieving His Mother
Richard and Angie have bonded during their short time in the 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' camp. Image: Network 10.

As it’s a short term treatment, relapse is common if not expected, and some patients who respond well to ECT treatments will undergo several courses.

Richard said around five years ago his mother began to show signs of retreating back into a depressed state.

“Last year we had to put her in a nursing home which is really hard,” Richard said, “and it was that point where I was like -- you know? -- that was me grieving my mother. The mother I had was gone.”

While he shared his heartbreak, Richard also celebrated the friendship he and Angie have formed in the short time they’ve been in the jungle together.

“I don’t know if I could have lasted this long in the jungle if Angie hadn’t shown up,” he said, “She’s my everything.”

“I just love her so much.”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play. I’m A Celebrity Saturday Schoolies airs Saturdays at 7 on 10 and 10 Play.