A Preston DJ who became embroiled in drug taking, depression and who nearly died on the floor of a city chicken takeaway has urged young men to talk about their mental health.
Jay Whalley, who became a viral star last year after his Eminem-inspired rant at ASOS, has opened up about a battle with his inner-demons.
The 26-year-old says he sank into a party lifestyle and found himself suffering from heart palpitations and anxiety.
Now the Preston DJ is holding a 24-hour DJ set to raise money and awareness of mental health problems.
Writing on Facebook in an epic post explaining what happened to him Jay said: “I was chain smoking & doing things at after parties we won’t be mentioning on Facebook. Not only that my diet became terrible and I was drinking around 8 red bulls each weekend & smoking excessive amounts of cannabis. I started realising this antagonistic life style would hinder my progression in life.
“Pains in the chest started, heart palpitations and pains in my liver. Having a huge moment of realisation, I had become a product of the party environment and let my standards and values slip. A number of people said ‘What have you got to be anxious about your so confident’ well its turns out I had some baggage that needed handling.
“I stopped everything at once and after two weeks, I was in Chester’s Chicken waiting for my supreme sizzler meal (a meal the chicken consider would be proud of) I had convinced myself I was aloud a bit of a ’treat’.
“The treat I received was collapsing to the floor thinking I was having a heart at attack.
Jay’s ASOS rant came during one of his darkest times
“Thinking that was it, I was very grateful to wake up in an ambulance, I was informed I had a fit.”
Jay then flew to South America to spend weeks in the Peruvian Rainforest taking Ayahuasca – a powerful medical plant.
Thinking it had cured him he returned to Preston but then the comedown began.
He said: “I could be walking to work then all of a sudden it would be like WW3 was kicking off within my mind, traumatic memories, feelings of absolute fear and shortness of breath would take over, this went on for weeks. Sometimes I would be in a constant state of fear/worry, couldn’t take a full breath for weeks and was in constant fear of dying & couldn’t sleep without cannabis.
“I was back in A&E twice in one day the heart palpitations came back and were intense. They caused even more anxiety which would lead to more palpitations.
“At the time I thought I was having a heart attack, one day I manage to scare myself still couldn’t physically get out of bed. At this point I went numb for weeks and didn’t feel any emotion, a condition I now know as depersonalisation. (I felt like an zombie walking round in a meat suit)”
Jay has now recovered thanks to a mix of therapies and says he wants to help others.
His DJ set in Glovers bar takes place on Thursday 30 March and Jay is hoping to raise £3,000 for Mind, through a Justgiving page.
If you, or someone you know, is affected by mental health problems you can seek help through the Mind website