Former St Johnstone striker David Weatherston has spoken out about his battle with mental health problems.
Weatherston, who retired from football last year, admits to suffering from issues throughout his playing career in Scotland.
The 31-year-old, who also played for Queen of the South, Falkirk and Queen’s Park, admits to suffering from anxiety, depression and self-doubt.
Speaking on his blog he said: “I can pinpoint the first time I ever felt nervous before a game. It was for St Johnstone in 2008 against Hamilton at McDiarmid Park in my first season as a professional.
“Although I’d tell myself I wasn’t nervous, my body said differently. I felt physically sick, couldn’t eat, could hardly speak, felt breathless and my legs felt heavy.”
The former winger revealed that learning of the suicide of former Falkirk player Chris Mitchell in May 2016 prompted him to speak up about his own illness.
“It’s really sad that it came to such a tragic end with Chris, but it has encouraged me to speak out about my own troubles,” he said.
Weatherston admits that although he never felt suicidal, he was depressed, and on match days his symptoms deteriorated further.
He added: “I hadn’t started since the new manager took over in October, then suddenly I was thrown in against the league leaders in an important game.
“I’d never been nervous before but suddenly self-doubt and anxiety crept in. These symptoms were all due to nerves, lack of self-belief and anxiety.”
“Looking back I wish I’d asked for help but mental illness is a huge taboo. In football, if you show it you’re tagged mentally weak.
“Although I had a decent career, it should have been much better and I’ll forever regret it.”