Former Sale Sharks and current Plymouth Albion fly-half Dan Mugford has opened up about his ongoing battle with depression.
The playmaker, who returned to Albion last month following his departure from the Premiership side revealed that being released caused things to get so desperate that he tried to take his own life as recently as the weekend before last.
He has now opened up about his story in the hope that the stigma surrounding mental health will come to an end:
“Before all this happened, I never really understood mental health at all, which is probably why I never saw the signs,” he told the Rugby Paper.
“I’ve had fairly low self-worth and confidence for as long as I can remember, but sport was the one saviour I had – as the thing I was good at and no one could ever take that away from me.
“I made the success in rugby my whole life without realising. The underlying issue was that I made it define me and when the success hasn’t come, I’ve struggled to deal with that.
“I changed as a person, felt I needed approval of who I was making some uncharacteristic mistakes trying to make myself feel better.”
Mugford added: “I lost Alice (broke up with his girlfriend) and it all hit me.
“My perspective changed and with her help, I was able to see what had been going on in my head.
“With the help of the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), who have been fantastic, Alice, whom astounds me every day we speak, my wonderful family and some incredible friends, I’m changing my life.”