Ex-rugby player opens up on depression struggles in new book

A former rugby league player has released a book which candidly reveals his struggles his mental health.
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A former rugby league player has released a book which candidly reveals his struggles his mental health.

Joe Collins, from Winstanley, has written From Dark Times To Brighter Days, a hard-hitting, emotional book which captures his experiences with depression and how he has turned his life around.

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The 26-year-old, a former Warrington Wolves player and now a personal trainer, has long been a champion of the mental health cause, and has taken part in many charitable efforts.

Joe CollinsJoe Collins
Joe Collins

He has decided that now is the time to tell his story and share his positive habits, with the ultimate goal of helping others turn around their unenviable situations.

Joe said: “Over the course of the lockdown, I’ve spent some time trying to help people, offering them self-improvement tips etc with a group on Facebook. I’ve also worked with people who’ve attempted suicide during the lockdown, trying to help them out.

“So I thought I should tell my own story, because I think some people look and think ‘it’s alright you saying these things - you’ve got a job you love, a family who love you’. So I wanted to tell people where my life ended up and how I hit rock bottom and how I pulled myself through it.”

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In the book, Joe candidly explains how his issues began months after signing a professional contract with Warrington, when he was attacked by four men who, at that point, he considered his best friends.

Joe with his new bookJoe with his new book
Joe with his new book

He described the incident as one which would “change his life forever.”

Joe said: “I let it ruin my own rugby career and self-sabotage my life, which peaked in me falling into the habit of taking drugs on nights out and, one morning, walking into hospital because I thought I was going to die.

“This was a big wake up call for me ... I started having panic attacks for a few months.”

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Joe’s story then details his battles with financial issues, before revealing how he overcame his issues by adopting self improvement techniques.

Joe is no stranger to promoting the cause of better mental health. Earlier this year, he ran 30 miles to encourage people to seek help if they were struggling, as well as raise money for mental health charity Mind

The book has been released by Wigan-based LMD Publications which, up to now, has specialised in children’s books. For more details, visit lmdpublications.co.ukThanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers.

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