Leon Osman health: Footballer faced ‘tough period’ coming to terms with injury
This Morning: Dr Chris reveals symptoms of his depression
Leon Osman, 39, joined Everton Academy as a boy and was part of the team that won the 1998 FA Youth Cup. But following the victory, he sustained a knee injury which kept him playing for a year. In 2001, the injury threatened to end his promising career in football.
After undergoing his fifth operation in three years, a doctor explained to Osman his ligament was hanging by a thread and would need repairing.
He was told he would need at least another nine months out the game after not playing consistently for three years.
Osman lost control, vomited into a bedpan, and had a panic attack for five minutes in the hospital bed.
After three, long hard years, it was too much for the young footballer to take.
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Looking back, Osman realises he had depression, and appreciates how a strong family unit helped him through.
“I’d suffered so much with injury,” he told The i.
“That was one of my tough periods, learning to deal with negativity and a difficult time. I’d done a lot before I made first team.
“It was OK for me, it was before social media and things could be levelled at you, I was just privately dealing with it with family.”
When Osman returned to football he never felt like the player he was before hurting his knee.
He continued: “Considering I played for England that’s a strange thing to say.
“But I always felt I was managing my body, because I went through so much early in my career. I had tools to be able to do it [as] I could see the signs in myself.”
What is depression?
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days, according to the NHS.
It explains: “Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.
“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.”
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression can manifest itself psychologically and physically.
Psychological symptoms can include:
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Having low self-esteem
Physical symptoms can include:
- Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
- Changes in appetite or weight
There may also be social symptoms to look out for. These can include:
- Avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
- Neglecting your hobbies and interests
- Having difficulties in your home, work or family life
If you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, for more than two weeks, see a GP.
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