‘Bachelor’ Clayton Echard opens up about mental health, body dysmorphia and ‘train wreck’ season

the former bachelor Clayton Eckard is opening up about the downsides of his run on the reality show and sharing how he’s using his platform for good.

The 29-year-old former NFL player grabbed public attention with her traditionally flashy looks before leading ABC’s Season 26. the Bachelor, As people formed their opinions about how to date their way through 30 Women on Television, he made sure to tell her.

“It was really hard for me to drive away hate through numbers,” he said in an interview. virginian pilot, “If it were a few messages, I would have passed it. If it were hundreds of messages, I would have questioned it. … But for me, it was thousands of messages, and in a very short amount of time, so it was very heavy.” done.”

Eckard also questioned his behavior after seeing the way his journey for TV was edited.

“Looking back at it, I was embarrassed and disgusted by my actions and the way I was portrayed or seen on TV,” he explained, noting that he experienced depression and anxiety as the season aired. “Ultimately, I had to live with the fact that what was shown is my story. And it was hard because it’s not really me. I don’t think who I was on the show is who I really am but I did those things, I became that person.”

Echard’s time on the show was ultimately successful as he found love with contestant Susie Evans, whom he reconciled before the show’s reunion and now lives in Virginia Beach. Still, he called his season a “train wreck” and is hoping to change his public persona by speaking out about the things that mean the most to him.

“Everything gets more exciting when you feel like you’ve found your true purpose in life. Through the experiences I’ve lived and grown, I’m now pursuing the passions I’ve always had But I never felt that I had the voice or courage to speak so openly.” step forward. We need to have a conversation.”

The cyberbullying he has suffered as a result of his time on television has contributed to the conversations he is now having with students across the country as part of a national speaking tour, Eckard with Body Dysmorphia. He also reflected on his struggle. He also shared that being on the Bachelor encouraged him to speak about it.

“Going on the show was a catalyst for me to realize that I can do it. It’s something I’m passionate about, and I want to be able to influence others,” he said, when he If he was able, he felt it. To name one, the obsessive thoughts he had about his body since he was young. “I want to be able to be a light for them, to say ‘Hey, listen, I was there too. I was able to pull it off.'”

And although overcoming mental health struggles can be difficult in the public eye, Eckard explained that she had to block out a lot of noise in order to focus on bettering herself.

“I’m Just My Authentic Self. I’m Not Trying To Be the Bachelor At this point,” he said. “All I know is that being a good loner or being a bad loner does not equate to being a good or a bad person.”

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