This Morning hub presenter Matt Johnson has spoken about his battle with depression as he aims to help others by speaking out.
Speaking for the first time on television to colleagues Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on This Morning Summer Johnson said:
It was a part of my life that I needed to share, I am an ambassador for Mind the mental health charity and people kept asking me why and I had to come clean, I’d be a massive hypocrite if I didn’t come clean about it because I’m encouraging people to talk about their mental health problems.. and since I have, it was probably the most cathartic experience I’ve ever been through because I never had therapy and this is the first time I’ve been open.
We want to smash this stigma [surrounding mental health] to bits… mental health is such a big spectrum of different illnesses and for me, it was a case in my twenties, before all this, before This Morning happened for me, I was depressed and I was very down and I let it get our of control. Still to this day, I think there were lots of reasons, There were lots of incidents – I was in an accident in my early twenties and I was scared for the first time in my life; thought I was invincible. I wasin a band and a party animal and I still am a bit, but I was giving everything 110%… and the shatter back down to earth really brought me down.
On losing his confidence, self esteem, and respect, Matt – former host of Channel 5’s OKTV! – revealed that this was a major factor in the break down of his relationship with Alex Jones.
I lost work because I couldn’t go to work – you find it very hard to get up in the mornings…and then you have no money. All confidence, self esteem and self respect were all out the window which was very difficult during my twenties.
Only my girlfriend at the time knew… and it was a major factor [in us breaking up] we were together for nearly six years and for four years of that I was in this darkness and it put pressure on us. I hid away, it spiralled out of control and we did break up and that’s when I got worse.
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Explaining how hard dark it got, Matt noted that he ‘turned to booze’ and spent much of his time alone.
I drank two bottles of whisky a day. I knew I was going through a tough time and I didn’t know how I was going to get out of it.I thought maybe this was the way I am? I lost myself and it snowballed…
But this could happen to anybody – I was in a far better position than most people. There are others that are more worse off and there are some that go through this all their lives. But the suicidal thoughts was the crunch moment for me. You have suicidal thoughts throughout but you never really think about it until you are faced with that moment of two choices… and it was weird, I didn’t think of anything to drag me up…I just felt absolutely nothing.
But as soon as I made that choice – I burst out crying and thought ‘what am I doing?’ And the choice the chose was to get back into this world and get my life back on track.
Matt made the decision to get back on track in December 2009. Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford admitted themselves that they had no idea that their colleague had gone through such dark times.
The response I’ve had on Twitter has been fantastic, so thank you for everyone getting in contact – it has opened a whole new world to me with people with problems and I feel better for talking about it and if this helps others… I will help spend the rest of my life making other people happy.
This Morning Summer airs weekdays from 10.30am. Matt recently was one of the celebrity performers on Stars In Their Eyes ‘remake’ Your Face Sounds Familiar, he made the final but lost out to Emmerdale actress Natalie Anderson.