The Bachelor Australia franchise’ Jarrod Woodgate has opened up about his struggles with mental health.
The 36-year-old – who rose to fame after his stints on The Bachelorette in 2017 and Bachelor in Paradise the following year – spent twelve years in the Armed Forces before being medically discharged.
**Content Warning: This article discusses mental health and may be distressing to some readers.
In a candid interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, the Bachie alum revealed that his mind and body have suffered as a result of his time in service.
“I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and trauma, and my body’s fried from defence time,” he explained.
“It takes its toll, it really does. I mean, I’m at the age of 36 and I feel like I’m 80 because of either my mind or my body. It physically can’t do what it should be able to do as a 36-year-old.”
The Bachelorette runner-up confessed that he has been seeking help for the past year, “getting poked and probed from all different doctors,” in search of an explanation for what is going on with his health.
“It’s just really daunting and it’s scary because we think, ‘Oh, we’re pretty tough, we can get through this’, but you can’t,” he said.
“The longer you hold on to something like mental health and not talk about it, the more your life is going to become a nightmare for you, and especially those around you. Because it does take effect not just on yourself, but your family and friends and partners.”
Jarrod Woodgate Had to Move Away From Melbourne For the Sake of His Mental Health
Jarrod has recently moved to Darwin after having worked on his family’s Gippsland farm for the past five years.
He expressed that the move came from a need to escape the big smoke, saying: “My friends in Melbourne, they’re not overly supportive of my mental health.”
“They think because I’ve got such a good life that there’s nothing wrong with me. They look at all the happy snaps on Instagram, but mental health is not visible,” Jarrod continued.
“You can’t see mental health. It’s not like a broken arm or a fractured collarbone. It’s deep down and people won’t talk to you about it until they feel comfortable and confident that they won’t be judged.
“After what I’ve been through, I want to try and assist other people, or at least help them or make them feel like they can be open, either with a stranger, a neighbour, a friend – anyone that will listen.”
Further, the reality star explained that he has little-to-no anonymity in the Victorian capital. However, he says in Darwin “somebody really mind their own business.”
Accordingly, “it’s a good getaway and it’s a great place to focus on mental health as well.”
He has moved to the Northern territory with his partner and former Bachelor franchise star, Samantha Royce.
Jarrod Woodgate Urges Men to Seek to Understand Mental Health
As the world slowly wakes up to the male mental health crisis, Jarrod urges men to speak up about how they are really feeling.
“You know what, I cry more than any other person I know,” he says, adding, “It’s a rollercoaster, and there are a lot of people out there that don’t understand that.”
While he acknowledged that it can be “really scary” for men to seek help in understanding their mental health, the 36-year-old maintains that it is worth it.
“It gets harder before it gets easier because you have to face your fears and come to the realisation like, ‘Something is wrong with me, now what?’. And then you’ve got to go through testing and then hopefully at the end of that you can see the light and you’ve got a better understanding of how to handle it.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
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