RUTH Davidson has revealed she questioned her own sanity and wanted to “curl up and die inside” as a teenager with mental health problems.

The Scottish Conservative leader said she felt “scared, ashamed, guilty and hopeless” when diagnosed with clinical depression as an 18-year-old student at Edinburgh University.

“I was handed pills and an NHS leaflet - like cleaning my cupboards - would help, and any time I went back to the doctor and said I still didn’t feel right, all they did was up my dose,” she said in a newspaper article about improving mental health services for young people.

In the Scottish Sun, Ms Davidson, 40, said it was vital to end the stigma around the subject.

She said: “I know what it is to be diagnosed with a mental health condition. To feel scared, ashamed, guilty and hopeless.

“I know how to hide fresh scars to avoid worrying parents and be the loudest person in the room so nobody suspects you just want to curl up and die inside.

“I know some of the questions I had - ‘Does this mean I’m mad? Will people think I’m a freak if they find out? Does this mean I won’t be able to hold down a decent job, or a relationship, or have children? Will I always feel this way? Am I weak for asking for help?’

“And I know it gets better.”

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson on mental health issues and how she battled depression

She went on: “The World Health Organisations says one in four people will have a period of mental or neurological illness at some point in their lives.

“This isn’t rare or weird or strange. That’s why it’s so important we take away the stigma that still exists - that still makes people try to hide what’s going on.

“I wish I’d known more when I received my diagnosis, that I’d known anyone who was openly going through the same issues as me so I could ask questions and compare notes.”

She called for improvements in NHS Scotland’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

One in five of the 33,000 children referred to CAMHS for treatment last year were rejected, while only 73 per cent of those accepted were seen within the 18 week target.

Ms Davidson said: “Some are waiting six months, some a year. Some are even getting lost in the system and the help that they are promised doesn’t ever seem to come.

“It’s not good enough and everyone agrees we should be better than this.”

Ms Davidson first spoke about her mental health in September 2018, when she disclosed she had self-harmed by cutting herself, punching walls and drinking too much.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson praised for airing mental health as reason for turning back on top Tory job

“I was punishing myself and hating myself for it at the same time,” she said at the time.

She blamed her medication for “desperate, dark, terrible dreams” where she “couldn’t tell what was real”, and was so afraid of sleep that she spent a term living nocturnally.

She said she never wanted to be Prime Minister in case it affected her mental health or relationship with partner Jen Wilson, with whom she has a young son.