10 January 2020

Jack Fincham uses experience with anxiety to help mates

Former Love Island winner Jack Fincham opened up about his own mental health struggles
Real Stories | Podcast
5 MIN READ
 

Former Love Island winner Jack Fincham opened up about his own mental health struggle in the latest episode of Movember’s In The Barber Chair Podcast.
 
The fourth episode of Movember’s new podcast series sees Jack Fincham sit down with guest host Matt Johnson.
 
Jack, a supporter of men’s health charity Movember, wants to encourage other men to seek help if they recognise they have a problem with either their mental or physical health.
 
The 28-year-old struggled with both anxiety and depression in his teenage years and was medicated for a number of years to help him manage his mental health.
 
He said: “I used to take anti-depressants when I was 18. I used to have such bad anxiety. At the start, I didn’t know what to do – it was just an all-round panic.
 
“Back then I was a little bit embarrassed to say why I wasn’t going to work. I had time off work but I didn’t want to say why.

 
“I used to fear something awful was going to happen, constantly. I’d go to bed feeling it and wake up feeling it."
 

“That brought the depression on, because I wondered when I would feel my normal again. It took me a good few years to get back on track.”
 
But Jack has been able to use his own experience to help him recognise when others may be struggling, and keep an eye out for his mates.
 
“From that experience I know always openly talk about it,” he said.
 
“I’ve learnt now to say to my mates: ‘How are you?’
 
“And sometimes they will say they have something on their mind. So I think it’s an important thing to check in with people.”
 
Host Matt Johnson also shared his own experience with depression, which culminated in him trying to take his own life a decade ago.
 
Matt said: “I went through extreme depression 10 years ago, and it led to a suicide attempt.
 
“But things got that bad for me because I couldn’t externalise it, and I couldn’t understand it. I started to drink to try to numb whatever pain was there. There were three years of that, and then two to three extreme months which led me to try to take my life.
 
“Thank God I didn’t. It’s been an incredible 10 years of self-discovery and realising that my therapy is conversation. Just having a chat, or writing down what’s on my mind, saves me.”
 
Understanding more about his mental health has also helped Jack become more accepting of what life throws at him.
 
Reflecting on his rise to fame and time in the Love Island villa, Jack said he isn’t one to want to alter the past.
 
Jack said: “I wouldn’t change anything. I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason. There’s stuff that wasn’t pleasant. There’s stuff that I probably should have thought about more. But it all builds who you are.
 
Everything that’s happened to me has happened for a reason. And you learn from stuff.  If you don’t learn from things that have happened, you aren’t progressing as a person. I’m in a really good place now.”
 
Jack also gives advice to anyone thinking of entering the Love Island villa, ahead of the new season starting on Sunday (12th Jan).
 
He said: “Remember who you actually are; don’t go changing. Remember where you came from and keep your original people around you.
 
“You’re going to get loads of new friends, but keep the ones you’ve known for years who have always been your friend around you – don’t neglect them.
 
“Look after your money, because it comes and it can go just as quickly. And just stay grounded.”
 
Set in a barber’s shop, the Movember podcast brings listeners real cuts and real conversations about what it means to be a man today.
 
Available with all major podcast outlets, episodes of In The Barber Chair see a celebrity host hold open and honest conversations with other big-name guests.
 
Recorded at Ted's Grooming Room in London, the first three episodes are hosted by Tim Lovejoy, and feature comedian and actor Ben Miller, YouTuber Jim Chapman and stand-up comic Paul Chowdhry.