Will Young ‘Considered Breaking His Own Legs’ To Get Out Of Strictly Due To PTSD

Will Young
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Bryony Gordon is increasingly moving up our metaphorical list of media heroines at the moment. Her podcast, Mad World, in which she openly discusses mental health with famous guests, is one of the most important listens available at the moment (see also Deborah Frances-White’s ‘The Guilty Feminist’).

She famously interviewed Prince Harry about his struggle with coming to terms with his mother Princess Diana’s death. This week, the podcast is an interview with Will Young, who opened up about the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) he suffers.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is caused by an extremely frightening event or situation that locks the brain into a mode of hyper-awareness and leaves the sufferer on a constant edge. Those who have PTSD often relive the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares, and experience confusing emotions such as shame, guilt and high irritability.

Will’s condition got so extreme during his time as a contestant on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, that he considered breaking his own legs to get out of the show.

“I was really ill,” he told Gordon. “I was dragging myself to rehearsals. I just couldn’t do it any more. It was so bad I thought – I’m not joking – I thought about breaking my legs.”

He explained that he didn’t want to openly quit the show because of PTSD because it didn’t want his condition “used as fodder” for headlines.

“I decided to take on ‘Strictly…’ because I bloody love dancing. And I bloody hated it, because I was so ill.”

Will said he believes his PTSD was originally triggered when he was separated at birth from his twin brother rupert, who was incubated with pneumonia. It was further exacerbated by a spell in a “viscous prep school”. He was first diagnosed with PTSD in 2012, while he performed in West End show ‘Cabaret’.

If you haven’t heard it, listen to it here. It’s brilliant.

And be prepared to be outraged by Piers Morgan’s tweets about it:

Naturally, his remarks did not go unchallenged:

He is the new male Katie Hopkins, is he not? Here’s hoping ITV wise up to his ignorance sooner rather than later. Men like Young should be praised for talking openly about illnesses that are wrongly stigmatised, as mental health problems are. Not bullied on social media by grown men who should know better.

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