In a men’s special of BBC Radio Sheffield’s award-winning The Naked Podcast, Sheffield singer Shaun Doane opens up about his ongoing struggle with depression and being bullied at secondary school.
Regular Naked Podcast presenters Kat Harbourne and Jenny Eells have handed the mic over to their colleague Adam Oxley for an unclothed interview with ‘Big Shaun’ Doane, lead singer with Sheffield band, The Everly Pregnant Brothers.
As part of the BBC’s Mental Health season, Shaun talks openly about his own battle with depression: “My worst problem is I don’t really like myself. I don’t feel like I fit in.”
The singer emphasises the importance of speaking out if you feel like you’re struggling: “We’re not talking enough. The more we can encourage people to go and do it, it’s really really important. Tell someone that you’re struggling and all of a sudden you’ll find those struggles get a lot easier.”
Talking specifically to men and boys, he said: “You get it pumped into you from being a kid – ‘big boys don’t cry’; ‘pull yourself together’; ‘pick yourself up, brush yourself off’. From being tiny you’re encouraged to be strong, bottle it up and push it to one side and it’s not healthy.”
The 50-year-old says despite being 5ft 10in tall and weighing 14 stone at the age of 11 he was physically attacked most days while at secondary school: “I just learned to curl up into a ball. The first thing you learn is when you’re on the floor and there’s five lads kicking you, make yourself as small as possible so they don’t get your face. I learned how to get into a foetal position and stay there until they were done. I made up every excuse I could not to go to school.”
Looking to the future the former funeral director says he’s starting to feel more comfortable with himself: “I’m never gonna 100% feel I fit in, but that’s the basis of who I am. I’m a misfit. The older I get, I’ve actually started to get happy about that. I don’t mind being a misfit. Being a misfit means I’m an individual. I’m not just slotting into a box.”
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