Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder has had a profound impact on Matt’s daily life, resulting in an effect on his emotions and thought process.
Matthew describes his condition as ‘”meaning that I see things as being very black and white and there is no middle ground. As an example my Grandad developed cancer which was very treatable and within a couple of months it could be gone, but when my Mum told me about it, all I heard was ‘cancer’. To me he could only be perfectly healthy or was going to pass away. It means that I take things very literally and I’m more prone to getting angry.
If someone tries to joke with me, I more than likely think they are being serious and are actually insulting me. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of it but that has mostly been those who are either negative in my life or just don’t understand the illness. They’d say things like ‘just don’t take things literally’ and obviously I can’t, it’s a mental health condition. If I don’t take my tablets I will probably flip out and want to end my life.”
He was first brought to the Head’s Up sessions through being a patient at the Redwood Centre in Shrewsbury. The sessions are delivered by Shrewsbury Town’s coaches at the Community Football Hub and aim to provide space for patients from the centre and the wider community to play and enjoy football in a relaxed and friendly environment in order to help with their conditions. Mathew told us how important playing football has been for him to meet new friends and give him something to look forward to in the week.
On top of this, the sessions help Matthew to manage his condition and its effects; the tablets he is prescribed mean that he gains weight very easily, so playing football every week allows him to manage this easier along with improving his overall outlook on bad days. Through Head’s Up Matthew has made many new friends and found something which helps keep him going when times are tough.