I have a story by Ian Whitehead.

This weeks instalment comes in the form of Ian Whitehead. A very honest account of times when he has suffered from depression. We thank Ian for opening up and sharing his story!

I started suffering symptoms of depression in October 2016 when I woke up one day in a bubble and struggling to break through it. I received counselling to diagnose my problems and discuss my feelings and emotions through my struggles. I realised that university life was becoming a struggle as well as suffering a serious injury in American football, which led me to think more suicidal, thinking whether day to day life was really worth it.

It got to a point where one day I couldn’t leave my room because I thought I was going to self harm, which I have done a couple of times fairly recently, but those thoughts made me ring the NHS 111 service who came over to my uni house and spoke to me whilst taking notes. They booked me an appointment and moved me into having rehabilitation appointments at the local medical centre.

Suffering symptoms of bipolar and schizophrenia, the doctor wasn’t sure what exactly was wrong with me but thought this all this was caused due to being severely depressed, to which they gave me a lot of medication to overcome these problems or at least calm them down.

Once checking out of rehab I felt better and the symptoms of depression calmed down but I’d still go through some daily struggles. I decided to go back to uni after having the year deferred and do a 4th year.

American football is my outlet and has been the reason as to why I haven’t committed suicide. As well as the support from friends and family, I sit here today with a degree in Sport, Coaching and Physical Education as well as reaching the division 1 finals with the Kent Exiles. I still suffer from depression and symptoms of bipolar to this date but with the help of medication and support, they have helped me overcome these problems and helped me become a better person. My aim now is help others. To guide and support them through the personal battles and problems.

I’ve also raised money for Mind mental health charity doing a full tough mudder and a half tough mudder.

I’m always here for people if they want to talk or discuss any problems they’re having. I’m only a message away.

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