Alex Reid has been diagnosed with autism.

Alex Reid

Alex Reid

The 45-year-old star has revealed he has Asperger's Syndrome and believes it explains why he has always felt different to to other people.

Alex said: "It's a relief in many ways but it's a bit unnerving because it's coming to terms with new things, but it also explains so much."

The former MMA fighter – who was married to Katie Price from 2010 until 2011 – explained how he was diagnosed with Asperger's after a chance encounter with a family who have an autistic child.

Alex told the Mirror Online: "I was so friendly with the children and the parents started to notice so many traits in me. They saw that in interviews I can sometimes be so together and then I can completely fall apart.

"They said they thought I was autistic.

"I've always thought of autism being like 'Rain Man' and thought that wasn't me, but understanding it more now it makes so much sense.

"My friends, the Boyce family, suggested I had an autism test and I came up significantly autistic."

Alex - who is expecting a baby with fiancee Nikki Manashe - thinks his diagnosis has helped him to understand why he hides behind a "mask" to cope with feeling bullied.

He said: "I've achieved so much and I felt like I could cope with anything.

"I've been so horrifically bullied throughout my whole life. I was the kid in school who asked the questions no one else would and I'd be laughed at, I was the kid that the teachers would say had to try harder and they didn't understand it.

"Even in the army I've been bullied and I've been bullied for being different. This has kind of made sense of why."

Alex admitted that despite feeling like he can "cope with anything", he ultimately knows there's a "little boy crying" inside of him.

He added: "I've put on all of these masks to cope and present myself and created all these different personalities - I'm an actor and I'm great at acting because I can pretend to be these different people.

"But ultimately deep down there's a little boy crying and not liking it. I'm soft but I can be really tough when I have to be."