We’re catching up as part of ITV2 and CALM’s How We Move series – a new show that’s all about finding new ways to look after your mental wellbeing. Rhiyadh’s in a good place now, but a few months ago he was in the middle of a really tough time.
“Last year, I had a bit of a breakdown. That's the only term that I feel fits the description of what It was. I had excruciating anxiety that came out of nowhere.”
When we’re talking about mental health, it can be easy to think it’s all about what goes on in your head. But there’s physical symptoms too. For Rhiyadh it began to affect his whole life.
“I stopped eating, I lost weight, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't really work. My life had just kind of come to a screeching halt. And because I was dealing with it for such an extended period, it began to turn into depression.”
When you’re in the middle of something like that, knowing what to do can feel impossible. And that’s no different for Rhiyadh. It was overwhelming knowing something was wrong, but not being able to fix it.
“I tried so many things to help, and some of them did work. But it was only when I really got professional help that I began to recover. You know, a year and a half on, I can now look back at that time with fresh eyes. And I'm so proud that even in my lowest state, I was able to get out of the house and get the help that I needed. A big part of that was the support from friends and family.”
So what was it that finally clicked for Riyadh? There was no one answer - there never is.
“I got through my anxiety by seeing it as an unwelcome guest in my head. And what do you do if you want someone to leave? You make them feel as uncomfortable as possible so they go away.
“So that’s what I did. I worked out the things that it didn't like. They don’t like meditation, they don't like singing, they don't like joy. They don't like walks in the park. They don't like therapy. And they don't like medication. So I did all those things. I was so determined to evict this guest from my head. I went all out.”