Sunday 18 August 2019

Jason Manford discusses mental health struggle for first time

The comedian spoke about his anxiety and depression in a video message to his fans.

Jason Manford has spoken for the first time about his mental health issues (Ian West/PA)
Jason Manford has spoken for the first time about his mental health issues (Ian West/PA)

By Alex Green, Press Association

Comedian Jason Manford has spoken for the first time about his struggles with mental health.

In a video posted to Facebook, he said he had decided to spend less time online after going through a period of anxiety and depression, aggravated by his social media use.

Manford, 37, added that he had been prompted to discuss his problems more openly by the death of former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis, who was found dead earlier this year aged 26.

Speaking to his 1.3 million followers on Tuesday, Manford said: “I wouldn’t go as far as to say a breakdown, but I had a struggle mentally and I found it very difficult to deal with.

“It’s taken me this long to be brave enough to say it. I’ve been struggling, you know, finding things hard and I think sometimes social media can not help with that.”

The stand-up, from Salford, Greater Manchester, said his decision to take time away from social media had not only been prompted by abusive trolls.

He had also found himself constantly comparing his life with other people’s.

“Even down to just comparing your life – you see people saying what they’re up to, what they’re doing and their house always seems lovely and tidy and the kids seem well behaved and they always look nice and slim,” he said.

“There are lots of reasons you compare yourself to them.”

The former 8 out of 10 Cats team captain, who still suffers from anxiety and depression, said that at his lowest he felt like “I’d let my kids down and I couldn’t do my job any more”.

He urged men to talk about mental health more and asked fans to remember that “just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing”.

– Samaritans is available 24/7 every day of the year, to listen and offer support to anyone who is struggling to cope.

People can contact Samaritans by phone, free of charge, on 116123, via email at jo@samaritans.org or by visiting www.samaritans.org to find details of a local branch.

PA Media

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