Around the Clubs

Life, football and managing anxiety

May 27th, 2021

North Coast Football General Manager Andrew Woodward is calm, assured, personable and high functioning – but there was a time when dark clouds partnered his everyday life.
And that’s why Andrew is keen to add his voice to the growing chorus, in this month where Northern NSW Football marked Mental Health Wellness Round.
In 2013, Andrew was diagnosed with anxiety, after an earlier incorrect assessment of situational depression (in lay terms, situational depression is where you are not coping after being impacted by a life event).
The finding that he was in fact dealing with anxiety was key in his recovery.
“I was given a different medication which was life changing. I also had some psychology sessions and within a matter of six weeks I was better,” Andrew said.
He said the anxiety presented as an offshoot of being a perfectionist – an impossible rod for the back in an imperfect world.
“I would get quite obssessed and it would get me down. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders,” Andrew said.
“But I’ve been living happily ever after since then, so much so that years ago I came off medication altogether and now use active management of the condition, plus diet and exercise.”
Anxiety is just one of many mental health conditions – and statistically, it’s the most common.
According to Beyond Blue, on average, one-in-four people will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. In a 12-month period, over two million Australians experience anxiety.
To draw a rough bow, a good number of your friends may suffer from anxiety. You may not realise that. They may not even know they have the condition.
Having been through it first-hand, Andrew has some simple and heartening advice.
“There’s no shame about not being good in the head. Just go and talk to your doctor. It’s no longer taboo and the treatments these days are a lot better,” he said.
“You’ll be happier at work, happier at home and just enjoy life a lot more. Plus Medicare has a mental health provision.”
Image: Andrew Woodward

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