Footballer opens up about his depression

Depression among sportspeople is gradually becoming less of a stigma as more men and women who play professional sport come forward and share their own battles with mental health problems. Halifax Town footballer Jason Jarett confessed he has battled depression for many years and his struggle with the condition saw him give up the game for two years.

The Halifax Courier reports that the 33-year-old midfielder has battled with depression since he was 27 and the disease stopped him from performing how he wanted to.

Mr Jarett said his mental health issues left him in a "dark place" and impacted on his training and performance, but he does not believe it was the stress of the game that solely contributed to the rise of his depression and that "life in general" also played a part.

Since getting help for the condition, Mr Jarrett has returned to the world of football and is taking his love of the game back to grassroots level to referee in Blackpool and Preston.

"Football is impossible to perform if you are unhappy," he said.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Roger Kingerlee welcomes his comments:

"This case is another in a growing line of men in public life who have been courageous enough to be honest, and realistic, about their human experience of depression.

"We can take heart from such cases first, since after initial resistance to help-seeking is overcome, recovery is possible more often than not; and second, since each new case in the public domain arguably makes it easier for the men who follow, as the process of recovery from depression in men is normalised at last."