Since he received help from the Charity, Adam wants to encourage other young men to open up about their mental health.
Initially, Adam felt like he could not talk to anyone about what he was going through. A variety of factors in his childhood and early adulthood had caused intense feelings of self-doubt and isolation from the world around him. By his early 20s, his negative thoughts had become so intense that it led to a mental breakdown. After suffering in silence for so long, he eventually collapsed and was rushed to A&E, weighing just nine stone.
“Part of me was a bit embarrassed. Society was telling me that men need to be strong and that it’s not OK to show emotion. Up until that point, mental health wasn’t really spoken about so I didn’t really understand what I was going through.”
After a lot of support from his GP and family, Adam started to rebuild his life, one small step at a time. A new job within Scottish Government provided the fresh start he was looking for. When he discovered our wellbeing services at a work event, he plucked up the courage to talk to one of our staff members about his struggles over the past few years. After further supportive conversations, we found that we were able to pay for Adam to have a series of therapy sessions through our partner organisation, Anxiety UK.
“When you’re depressed, it’s easy to hate yourself. The therapy taught me how to look at things differently. I had to write about what other people like about me. At the back of my mind, it felt like the words were describing someone else. It was quite an emotional moment when I finally accepted they were describing me.”
Adam has now completed his therapy and continues to grow in confidence every day. On reflection, he explains how the therapy allowed him to finally open up about the root causes of his anxiety, which in turn, have helped him develop coping strategies for the future. He also emphasised the significant role that exercise has played in his road to recovery. Feeling inspired by the kindness of others, he wants to share his story and help other young men find their voice.
“These ridiculous expectations of what men have to be in life are wrong. It’s OK to go through difficult times and we all deserve help. I hope my story reminds people that they’re not alone.”