Matthew Wolfenden health: ‘Very dark times’ Emmerdale star’s past condition

Matthew Wolfenden, 39, has played the recurring role of David Metcalfe on ITV’s Emmerdale for 13 years, and over the years has become entangled in a number of dramatic storylines, including ones affecting his character’s health. In 2016, his character raised awareness of testicular cancer and how important it is for men to check their testicles. But Matthew’s health problems are not reserved to the small screen.

I got lower an lower and lower, and I had to quit my job

Matthew Wolfenden

Off screen, the star has dealt with his own health issues.

Between the ages of 21 and 31, the actor suffered with depression.

Opening up on ITV’s Loose Women last year, Matthew revealed there were various things going on in his life when he was 23 which led him to going to see a doctor.

He divulged: “And I got lower an lower and lower, and I had to quit my job. I was in the West End as a dancer at the time – I had to take a sabbatical from that.

“I was getting lower and lower and lower, and I just went and said, ‘listen, this is how I feel, I don’t feel great’.”

Matthew was given a prescription of antidepressants to help his symptoms and was on them for eight years.

But he added: “They’re not a magic pill you do still have your very dark times…you have to come off them very gradually.

“If you came off them straight away, there’s some really nasty side-effects.”

While the antidepressants helped, Matthew began to recovery fully from depression with talking therapy.

He said: “It wasn’t until my now wife said to me, ‘maybe you should get some talking therapy, some CBT.’”

CBD stands for cognitive behavioural therapy, and is used to help manage stress, anxiety, phobias and depression.

What is depression?

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days, explains the NHS.

it states: “Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.

“Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”.

“The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.”

Symptoms of depression

The symptoms of depression can be complex, according to Bupa, and may affect everyone in different ways.

It says: “The two core symptoms of depression are having a low mood (feeling down or hopeless) along with losing interest or pleasure form doing things.”

The symptoms can manifest themselves as feelings and physical symptoms. For the full list, visit Bupa.

If you experience the symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than two weeks, see your GP.

Another Emmerdale star, Steve Halliwell, underwent a health scare just last year. 

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