Tuesday 11 December 2018

Watch: Jason McAteer praised for speaking openly about his battle with depression in moving documentary

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jason McAteer has admitted 'all was not right' for him when his football career came to an end, as he spoke about his decision to make a documentary exploring mental health with his old club Liverpool.

Former Republic of Ireland McAteer has been praised for hosting the documentary entitles 'Through The Storm' and he told the Liverpool website that it contains a powerful message that will resonate with a lot of retired players.

"I felt I was living a bit of a lie saying everything was OK at the end of my career, that I fell into the media and all the time on my hands was brilliant, when really it wasn't," he explained.

"I felt I had a bit of a duty to speak out and tell the truth; but also it was speaking for a lot of other former players of my generation who were finding it difficult to finish playing football.

"It's like a light switch – one day you're going in and playing, with 25 mates, with direction and drive, games to look forward to and focus on, and living in a world full of adulation and fame to an extent.

"It stops; it literally stops the next day. There is no training to go to, there's nothing to focus on and there are no games. It was just a really difficult time."

McAteer spoke candidly about his battle with depression after he hung up his boots in the impressive documentary and admitted there were times when he considered ending his life.

While McAteer admitted he was shocked by how he reacted to the end of his playing career, but he suggested there should be no shame in speaking out about mental health issues.

"The world is changing and the demands are changing," he said. "Kids are growing up in a world where everything is really quick, with peer pressure. Although it was there before, it's more so now because of social media. It's phenomenal pressure.

"For middle-aged men, there are demands, in some cases, just to put food on the table. People in jobs have deadlines to meet. You might have a problem in your personal life.

"But there's always an alternative and the alternative is to speak to somebody and get help because it's out there."

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