I’ll begin by saying this post has nothing to do with Arsenal, but everything to do with football.
If you’ve read the news today, you’ll have heard about Dean Windass’ admission of both depression and attempted suicide. In a very open and honest interview, the now retired ex-Hull player said:
“I have cried every day for the last two years since retiring.
“People outside football think we have it all. But I was in a hole that I honestly didn’t know how to get out of.
“Just over a week ago I hit rock-bottom and decided to end it all.
“I first took an overdose and when that didn’t work tried to hang myself. I felt so alone and believed I had nothing to live for.
“I need to sort myself out which is why I’m speaking out now.
We live in a world where it’s difficult to sympathise with well-paid public figures who want for nothing, but many of us have no idea of the pressures and difficulties that accompany it. I can imagine that adulation or even abuse from supporters can give someone an enormous sense of being needed, I can guess how difficult that must be to adjust to once it’s missing, but in the end, I can only offer speculation.
The truth remains that some footballers need help, just as ordinary people suffering the trials and tribulations of life need it. It’s easy to dismiss the troubles of a wealthy public figure as needy or trivial, but depression is an illness that can affect anyone.
Not everyone suffering in silence will be as brave as Windass has been in his confession. Robert Enke’s death was a tragic example of what depression can lead a man to do, even if it’s a man living a life many of us can only dream of. It’s difficult to offer help to those that won’t accept it, so Dean Windass’ honesty could be the kind of gesture that will prompt others in similar situations to do the same. I know I think very highly of him as a person for what he has done.
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