Footballer Jamie O’Hara has opened up about his struggles with depression.
The former ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ star revealed how the loss of his mother in 2004 triggered problems with his mental health that he didn’t deal with until years later.
Sharing a lengthy post on Twitter as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the Billericay Town player wrote: “I really struggled with depression for a number of years.
“I lost my mum at 17 and I never really dealt with the death until years later because I was so driven on becoming a professional footballer that I put it behind me.
“It affected every part of my life I would drink to much I would sleep all the time and I never interacted with anyone, I pushed everything away.”
Jamie went on to explain it was only during some down time in his career that he began to deal with his problems.
“I was on anti depressants for nine months when I was injured and it was then that I realised I needed help,” he revealed.
“I felt like I could never speak to anyone as I was scared of the reply, how can you be depressed you’re a footballer living in a mansion.”
He continued: “It was after a night out where I spent a crazy amount of money and woke up in a hotel I didn’t even know that I spoke out.
“I sat down with a psychologist every week spoke about all my fears and worries and what I want for my future.
“My answer kept leaning towards making my three boys proud.”
Jamie - dad to Archie, six, Harry, five, and three-year-old George with ex-wife Danielle Lloyd - said he had since made a number of changes to his life to help with his depression.
“I had to make changes. I started to surround myself with positive people who wanted the best for me and not the paid night out,” he explained.
“[I] moved closer to my family and the people who were there at the start, I changed my outlook on life I realised the material things in life don’t matter.
“It’s only now I feel OK to talk about it.”
He added: “There’s so much more to say but I want people who are suffering to hopefully see this in any walk of life and feel OK to speak out and not suffer in silence.”
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org