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Football, success, content and money are not a cure for mental health issues

I’ve written this same article too many times.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

It’s funny isn’t it? We can discuss and talk about our physical ailments all we want online and in person, but when it comes to anything in the realm of mental health, many choose to hide despite those problems being just as debilitating as physical issues.

It seems like another day, another time for a former Villa man/professional footballer/man/woman/child to fall victim to mental health woes. For whatever reason, with each passing day driving us deeper and deeper into the constant calamity of the 21st, the world at large can’t get a damn grip on mental health.

Stan Collymore has spoken at large and in deep detail about his struggles with mental health. In the past few days, he has fallen prey to his issues - needing time off to refocus his life. The quote below follows his apologies for missing a live edition of his Call Collymore radio show.

My precious exercise has lessened and 18 hour days in bed have become my norm, with suicidal feelings never far away. Sad, but true.

You can find his full statement here.

I’ll tell you what really rocks me to my core - it’s the fact that Stan Collymore, who is doing everything that I’d love to do (those close to me know about my background in radio), and is struggling with the same issues that I feel personally that some kind of success will heal. In my eyes, Stan is super successful, he’s a solid footballing commodity and has a big following. He’s running his own radio show that is more than likely the best footballing phone-in show going. Sometimes, when I lie in bed staring at the moon after yet another sleepless night, I think that if I got to that position, I’d have no reason to have sleepless nights!

It’s a paradox, and I’d bet that Stan would wish in some nights for a bit of peace - away from the success. It’s this issue - that I want to be good enough to be paid for my writing so I can provide for me and my family, but at the same time knowing that it probably won’t bring to me the fulfilment I desire. That’s what is truly scary, to me, that people who are doing everything right are still suffering.

To move away from football, I’ve seen the same worries and issues in someone like Jim Carrey, where mental health seems to hang over his career no matter his success. It’s also extremely prominent in someone like Robin Williams. To go back to football, it’s clearly most prominent in Stan Collymore, whose health brought an end to his career at Aston Villa. It’s also obvious in the stories of both Micky Drennan and Nicklas Helenius. It might be something to do with the tale of Ross McCormack. We don’t know, all that we do know is that success is no guarantee of health.

As for Stan Collymore, well - he should know that if he needs to talk, we’re all here. As we should be for each and every single person, Villa or not, that is having a one heck of a bad day/week/month/year.