Matthew Wolfenden health: The ‘big operation’ that led actor to feel ‘lower and lower’

Emmerdale: Matthew Wolfenden says he doesn’t watch himself

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The actor started his Emmerdale career as David Metcafe 15 years ago. But the actor didn’t grow up dreaming about being part of the iconic Metcafe family. Instead, Wolfenden was an elite gymnast on track for a shot at the Olympics until a dire accident which caused him to plunge into a deep depression. He spoke about it in an interview with Loose Women.

Back when he was 16, the star suffered a horrific injury when he lost concentration during gymnastics and came off the apparatus he was using.

He landed on his head and fractured two vertebrae–this destroyed his chances of being an athlete.

It was during his recovery, after a “big operation” when the star started to get “lower and lower”, he said.

After his operation, the star was given anti-depressants which he found highly addictive.

He would end up taking them for another eight years until he eventually discovered cognitive behavioural therapy.

“The first time the doctor did was to give me a prescription for antidepressants. He didn’t suggest that I go to talk to someone.

Surgery is well known for causing depression and doctors will often warn people about it.

One 2016 study published in BMC surgery specifically found it is the chronic pain post-surgery that leads to the development onset of depression.

And to treat this post-surgical depression, health bodies around the NHS may prescribe antidepressants as Wolfenden experienced.

If you abruptly stop taking this medication, you may develop withdrawal symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic.

While withdrawal symptoms are not a sign of addiction, they make it harder to stop taking the medication.

The charity Mind recommends trying to take antidepressants with a longer half-life, in other words that take longer to leave your body as these are easier to wean off.

Wolfenden suggested that the anti-depressants “do work” but that they’re not a “magic pill”.

If you are trying to overcome depression, you may want to try several approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy.

This involves tackling negative thought patterns that are causing you to feel down.

Depression can result in suicidal thoughts.

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it’s important to tell someone.
These free helplines are there to help when you’re feeling down or desperate.
Unless it says otherwise, they’re open 24 hours a day, every day. You can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 and [email protected]

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