Johns, Andrew Gary - when he was experiencing mania many of the games were his best
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
8 November, 2007 ABCNews Confessions of a former league star
Andrew Johns was in his mid-teens when he first began suffering what would later be diagnosed as bipolar disorder. He would lock himself in his room for days and wouldn't talk to anyone. Because he was growing up in the small town of Cessnock more than twenty years ago, depression was a subject few people talked about. He only found out recently that his mother called Lifeline because she didn't know what was going on with her son. ………….people who suffer from Bipolar disorder experience severe mood swings, from extreme highs to extreme lows. The states of emotional elation and unbounded energy are called mania; the low periods have the same symptoms as major depression. Andrew Johns says that he felt indestructible when he was experiencing this mania and that many of those games were his best.
"If I went out drinking (after the game) I found it incredibly hard to stop. This would go on for days until I crashed. Then sometimes I wouldn't go to training for three days and lock myself in the house. When he thinks about his behaviour in pubs and clubs in Newcastle he feels ashamed, but living in a "fishbowl" like Newcastle protected him. Club owners and bouncers would make sure he got home by sending him off in cabs.
"I was their so called star player and they didn't want people to know what I was doing".
During his career Johns says that many of his friends and family tried to help him, including his coach and club doctor. "Unfortunately I'd be in a destructive mood and then five to six days later I'd come out and play the best game of the year and it would all get swept under the carpet. I suppose if you're performing, then it's OK".
Newcastle was abuzz with rumours about his troubled lifestyle, but he's not sure if the club knew what was going on.