A tale of recovery from Clarke Carlisle and his wife

04.23.2019 - By All in the Mind

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When ex-footballer Clarke Carlisle went missing in 2017 his wife Carrie thought the worst: he had severe depression and had already attempted to take his own life.

Found safely in Liverpool, he then spent weeks in a psychiatric hospital and 18 months in therapy.

Clarke’s whole sense of identity was tied up with football and the buzz it gave him. So a knee injury at 21 made him feel like a failure and pushed him towards destructive behaviours with alcohol and marathon computer game sessions.

Carrie responds to the question sometimes asked by well-meaning people: How could he put you through this?.

“Clarke didn’t put me through anything. This illness [severe depression] invades and puts all of you through it collectively.”

The Carlisles share their tips for recovery: asking for professional help; talking openly to their children about feelings; their daily marks-out-of-ten check in; how much the Pixar film Inside Out taught them about emotional resilience.

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