Neil Lennon, 36, the ex-Celtic captain and recent key speaker as the Scottish Recovery Network has revealed he doesn’t care if he takes antidepressants for the rest of his life – as long as he can stay healthy. The midfielder – known for his confident, combative playing style – said he has been struggling for years with the condition became so depressed that even beating rivals Rangers 2-0 at Ibrox couldn’t rekindle his interest in football or any part of his life.
Referring to his fiery on-pitch persona, Lennon says: “Most people up here would have thought I`d be the last person to get it. “It is usually the strongest-willed people. You would be surprised who has got it. I could give you a list of celebrities and famous people who have got it – it would knock you back a wee bit. The thing that makes you stronger is also the thing can beat you up a bit.”
Lennon initially found help though club doctor Roddy Macdonald. “One thing he told me was treat the depression like an injury. You’re not 100% but you will be. I needed to hear I could recover.” When the midfielder was first diagnosed six years ago, he had to try several drugs before finding one that eased the feelings of emptiness and anxiety. While outside he appeared to be the same passionate footballer, he admitted: “I didn’t want to wake up, never mind go on the park.” Finding the right treatment made all the difference. He said: “Now all depression means to me is taking a tablet.” He also talked abut how his baby son Gallagher helped him pull through some of the darkest times. The ex-Northern Ireland international, now plays for English League.