Feddie Flintoff, 42, opened up about his battle against depression with rapper Professor Green for a Heads Together campaign spearheaded by Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry. The pair, who had previously taken part in separate BBC documentaries detailing their struggles, said admitting their problems for the first time made them realise they were not alone.
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In the short film, Freddie said: “I knew that something was not right for a long time and I ran away from it.
“This is not me, this is not happening. I bumbled on for a little bit and then started living differently.
“I probably started to drinking too much and tried to escape however I was feeling.
“I did this documentary, like you did. I spoke to Ricky Hatton, Neil Lennon and Graeme Dott the snooker player.
“I was listening to them identifying, thinking, ‘You know what, I’ve been through that’. I was thinking actually ‘Ricky Hatton, you’ve gone through this, you’re probably one of the hardest people I know, but you can talk about it.’
“I thought the people who have followed me through my career – they’re going to turn their backs on me but it was the complete opposite.
“People would come up to me and say, ‘Wow’ and then they’d start telling me how they feel.”
For Freddie, the hardest thing was initially talking about his struggles.
He added: “I’m not a big talker. I’m from the North of England from a working class family- we don’t talk about our feelings.”
Professor Green, whose real name is Stephen Manderson, agreed saying: “I’m from a council estate from east London – it’s just not something we spoke about.”
What is depression?
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days, according to the NHS.
While most people go through periods of feeling down, when you’re depressed you persistently feel sad for weeks or months.
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The health body explains: “Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by ‘pulling yourself together’.
“The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.”
Symptoms of depression
The NHS says depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide range of symptoms.
Symptoms can range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in things you used to enjoy.
The health body adds: “There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
“The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times.
“A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.”
If you think you may be depressed, see your GP.
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