Steven Reid: Facing bouts of anxiety and panic as a Premier League player and why I want to help others | Football news

Steven Reid has told Sky Sports News he has suffered two panic attacks during Premier League matches and says he is now determined to help others improve their mental health and well-being.

Earlier this month, Reid left his position as assistant coach to Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest to become a specialist coach in his own right, with the aim of helping people improve morale, confidence and self-esteem. and leadership ability.

When asked about the hardest moments he’s faced in his career, Reid said: “Really hard, really hard, you know, you’re talking about anxiety attacks anxiety, stress, panic really serious.

“I can remember my car after going to a Premier League game to play, to start the game, and have a panic attack and have to go back inside and calm down.

“I’ve had one on the pitch, on a couple of occasions I’ve been through that on the pitch and it was a really tough moment to deal with, to manage, to try to find the tools and you talk to the right person to get through those moments.

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“But it doesn’t really get much more difficult than in Premier League games, experiencing those emotions alongside the actual performance of facing a Premier League game, let alone the aspect of it. its emotional edge.”

‘I went with my heart and head’

Reid, 41, was part of the defenders that helped Forest secure a return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.

And the former Republic of Ireland international admits leaving the City Ground was a difficult decision.

“It’s something I’ve been really thinking about for a while. I’ve had a few discussions as the seasons go on with Steve and my family and people close to me. I was close to doing it. it’s been on a few occasions but I just feel this is the perfect timing.

“I talked about that decision and how difficult it becomes after the promotion and another season [to look forward to] in the Premier League against the elite. But when it really started with it, this was something that became a passion.

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“I think through the years of being involved in football, in the environment from before I was 16, 17, it came back all those years, and I finally lost interest in that, in it, at the beginning of the game.

“But, obviously I’ve developed a real passion for helping people and helping the players I’ve worked with, and in connecting with those people and building relationships. there, I feel like a natural next step.

“I talked to Steve [Cooper] and club. He is absolutely first class and a manager you can discuss with. I think it was an open and honest conversation and Steve is such an emotionally intelligent guy that we could sit down and talk about exactly this stuff, and he totally gets it. .

“It was obviously an unbelievable season ending with Nottingham Forest. It was a tough decision after promotion, but I decided to go with my heart and head and give the chance. hey, this venture will really work out.” “

If you are affected by mental health issues or would like to chat, please contact Samaritans on the toll-free helpline 116 123, or visit website.

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