In an interview with The Times, former Spurs winger Aaron Lennon talks about his mental health issues and how he managed to overcome them.
Lennon has been actively involved on social media and in community projects, spreading mental health awareness, but not many would know that he was a victim of depression himself.
The major setback came in May 2017, during his time in Everton. He was detained under the Mental Health Act due to his mental health issues which saw him take a break from playing for the Merseyside club. That was when the 34-year-old decided to turn things around.
“That last period was a really fast spiral. I was in a terrible, dark place. It was only then, after that [detention] that I really started to look at myself.”, he said.
Talking about his recovery, the Englishman referred to certain tools he used to cope with depression. Reading self-help books, listening to podcasts and writing a wellness journal are a few means he relied on to improve his mental state.
“Journalling, for me, was one of the best things I’ve done. You just write about how your day’s gone, how you feel, what you are thankful for, what you’re not.”
Lennon also talked about the pressure young players face in this day and age, primarily due to social media. “It’s very difficult for them. There needs to be a lot more done for these players because there is so much more pressure on them with social media.”
Having recovered from depression, the England International is now committed to offering help to people suffering from similar problems, both inside and outside the football community.