How Mental Illness Derailed the Career of a Promising Young Skateboarder

How Mental Illness Derailed the Career of a Promising Young Skateboarder

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I just remember being kid just like watching him for hours [Applause] we know what the hell who does it all that’s pause pause Anders that what the he’s a legend patience a legend you know very so around to see him skating out there just know there’s something different about him the highest pop I’ve probably still ever seen [Applause] he was just unbelievably ahead of his time couldn’t even fathom how you could do like that so effortlessly I don’t really know what happened really with reading his when he wasn’t around and stuff you know and people still talk about him and people so reminisce about myself for sure like I knew he’d had his battles you know because you’d see him come out he’d be here he’d skate and he’d be gone that’s how I remember Paul always a bit gangster always got that little grin I guess we looked after Paul a little tried to influence him a little he was the kid who we could always get to kickflip the stairs that we’ve already didn’t want to kickflip [Music] we’re all from good backgrounds lived in nice villages on our boards skate in the streets causing a bit of trouble in the village never having a lift home and just having to skate everywhere just doing what skate kids did I guess and then obviously when we got a bit older we started smoking and pulled 12 to 13 when he started I was smoking by 14 it was smoking I lost he was just always out with all the guys so his praise came from the older guys which at that age is pretty cool feeling paul’s ability on a skateboard he was quite frankly incredible he was progressing so quick but then with him going to Bristol he was just out killing [Music] first time I met Paul was when when him and his brother moved here to Bristol and I never met either of them and randomly one day I got a call from Steve he’s like yeah you live in this house and you got like I heard you got two spare bedrooms and yeah me and my brother were moving down we need a place so I was like okay yeah calm like moving to my place so they just showed up on the door with boxes it was the first time I met they were both the pain in the ass like they cook dinner and leave the oven on and go out and like you come back a day later and the ovens about to explode well they’ve washed dishes which was very rare and leave the tap on everyone was around all the time you know because summer you got nothing to do but we get high and we just basically went skating and you know hung out and it was super dope [Music] the crew is really tight we would make the videos good filming like a simple back then we used to place weed all day use to smoke ten bongs and go skating it keeps a young skateboarder after me for me I used to feel off being around imp is what he did was dope the district’s higher than everyone we do it up a curb you threw over a bench I’ve really learnt a lot from that a [Applause] Superfund DePaul definitely like whatever he turns his hand to he does it in his style and he does it his way like if you’ve seen him play football how he controls a ball or dancing everything he’s like he’s got the rhythm he’s got it you’re hanging out and you chillin you know after skating and he’s like on his back flipping the board around with such crazy control but like some of the stuff we did without just having a laugh [Music] things were good he was killing getting more attention than ever with photographers and a film isn’t getting in the mags a lot more he was climbing up my name is doing whoa he’s getting covers of magazines and used pictures sponsors shoe company board company I never saw any reason to think that he’s got something going on or none of that never not once you know he’s smarter and quicker and sharper than everyone I remember playing his day the day when it all started happening he called me up and he’s like Danny man you’re in danger and I was like what do you mean I meant it more what he’s like they’re coming for you so I pour who’s coming what he’s like man I seen a car a red car went by and it had a D and a W in the license plate and then another car came and a red one and I can add some numbers in and it means they’re coming for you minor and I was like dude where are you you hadn’t slept for days he was having problems with his girlfriend and I think you know that and smoking and not sleeping that’s what sort of started everything off right yeah I don’t want to water for long – [Music] yeah oh man I can’t really I can’t really go into it really I was in love and I was heartbroken when it was over and a bit paranoid to be honest I don’t know I don’t know what’s a we don’t just I just I just got ill for some reason I don’t know what happened I just it just clicked and I just became unwell I was trying to go to sleep if I couldn’t go to sleep and I’ve never been in that situation before in my life so I just sort of walked off on my own I didn’t come back for Chuy’s it’s just walking around like a zombie I’d been awake for so long I couldn’t remember what I’ve done you know or days we’ll be missing out of the week I’d keep some weed on me anyway in my pocket and I was just walking around the street at night on my own walking like 20 miles and I I think I weighed about ten and a half stone I looked ill everyone was worried about me I would be in the center of college green pretty much very deluded person I thought every time I heard the sirens of a police car there’s someone rang the police on me so I used to think the police were sentence watch me the arm in descending to watch me and depending on what my eyeballs were doing like above left above right down right up down left I my own code for working it all out that’s how complicated it got and I used to actually be scared of moving my eyes and stuff like that I was gambling on the tricks that I was doing I used to think that all cars were sent to me and that the girls were there to see me and that depended on what tricks are made I can leave of the girls in the cars so if I pulled a switch 360 flip first go 3 times in a row I’d make I’d have a Ferrari or something like that I used to think that it was all being filmed from above at the green when I was skating the weird part about it was as I actually believed that I’d made the greatest film of all time the film that I believed was happening that wasn’t happening [Music] I don’t know why I used to go to college green every day when when I was as in that is that really the problem is is my illness followed me around I probably turned a blind eye for a minute because I didn’t know how to deal with it I didn’t know what to do I didn’t you know I got no experience of this or whatever ie B or ie get some sleeping these things of Libya rights lay off the weed for a bit you know he’s a he’s a homeys close mate and you’re just like what I’ll do like what’s going on she just escalated you know I mean I’ve got I’m just saying something quiet people were noticing it you know saying bizarre things a little bit the mental health team was called in managed to round him up and say look we feel that you’ve got a Susan that you need a bit of helper here so we’ll we will have to organise to send you off to a mental hospital for a short spell the first time I was sectioned or whatever it was pretty scary experience what they gave me was a drug called her a peridot and how a peridot makes she sort of like shiver it’s like you know it’s more powerful than any drug I’ve ever had on the street and it was like a proper scary experience so I felt ill all the time throughout the whole day the first time I went in 28 days seemed like years the medication was scare really strong you know you’re thinking how am I ever going to skate again you can barely walk down the street I said to dad I don’t want to be involved in this this medication make me feel ill it’s making me feel ill please get me out of here he was kept in hospital for about further three months and then he came home to live with me yeah I remember they it sends me like you’re not gonna try a few kick flips on flat to warm up forever I saw something I’ve done about a million he’s gonna go for me I never thought that I’d ever achieve anything in the skate you know ever get anywhere good it was just a dream for me as a kid because I wanted to be a pro skater you know and then to be in the magazine I never thought that I had up and you know so I was pretty stoked went on tour first to Barcelona with a Cyrus I think they went to Ireland Portugal the prod ones and for Barcelona trips they were probably the best skate trips I’ve been on when I got my front cover for the magazine I had a sneaky feeling it might be from cover anyway because it was that good and idea to do a photo in a launderette lift out he was actually there during his washing I see him about a week later and I said mate you’re on the front cover of the skate magazine because you’re in the background it’s hard if you not to be bitter it’s society when you see people out there who were more crazy than you and I was doing something positive with my life I was gonna be a pro skater you know I was gonna make everyone proud I was gonna make everyone happen and that was my dream and they got shot down [Music] he’s always been someone that I’ve had an interest in because I’ve had my of mental health you know like I got sectioned a few years ago so I feel like I have some what have an understanding like what maybe not as much as him but I’ve been in those places and I know how they are I was there for about six weeks but I know that if you stay that much longer than that and you don’t have the right network of people it’s just a psycho and you’re never going to go out you know of all of your friends are like you probably got one too that you can really talk to that’s just generally how a lot of guys are they kind of skim the surface and then they’ll just keep things in [Music] especially in a circle of skiers and hanging out it’s all cool and it’s all this and that like everything’s cool and everything needs to stay cool you know skaters for life man loves to be vulnerable and really let yourself be open like that I think opens you up for ridicule or a lot of people don’t really hear you either you know tell me you just carry a lot of with you and you don’t talk about it it took me ages to understand what he was going through to be fair like I didn’t get it straight away because I’ve known him so well before I knew that it was something that was out of his control he was the same character but you’d always see in his li did there was something that he was thinking about I remember the kids that had been skating with him before Bristol and then I Wow poor scary and he was talking some weird stuff was tough to say that he’s always you know don’t be afraid of him he’s fine he’s just you know thinking of some crazy stuff like that I feel bad in a way because that I lost touch with Paul you know and he went to Leicester and he went in our sport you know I have my crazy life going on at the time to lose contact for that space of time yeah I feel guilty about that you know I feel bad about that we went from hanging out a lot to he was unless they’re doing this thing and having a hard time you know them you know our lives all carried on I was scarred by being in hospital and being trapped not doing anything positive I’m a quite a wild person and I think that sometimes they get the wrong idea about that like if you put someone in prison you know they get out and they’re a wild animal they just end up going back and back and it’s similar to what happens to you in mental hospital I’ve sort of pretended that I’m cool about the situation when realistically it hurts me a lot more than that but I got out once and I didn’t have any charisma left in me and my girlfriend left me and we were gonna have a family together you know I worry about some of the people in my life and some of the effects of them being around me when I was mentally ill I just wish that I could prove that I’m well so that they could rest and be relaxed and think our pools gone back to while it used to be because I feel like I am still that person that I used to be using skateboarding is Paul Saviour this is where to freedom free movement and perhaps freeing up from his problems I’m not gonna give up skating I’m never gonna give up skating and I’m never gonna give up try and they’d get myself well and give myself therapy because I feel like you know one day it were too late and I won’t be on this earth anymore [Music]

100 thoughts on “How Mental Illness Derailed the Career of a Promising Young Skateboarder”

  1. A relationship took me from the happiest to the darkest I’ve been in my life in one day I lost over 60+ pounds because of it I look at it as a good thing but it wasn’t I lost it cus I couldn’t eat or sleep or even talk to friends it sucks it’s so sad I understand him completely I wish everyone with the same problem to fight through it please

  2. wow randomly came across this after seeing the boulala video.
    i hope paul can consider an organic plant based diet and avoiding all synthetic medications, as a way to recovery if hes still unwell.
    i actually skated various times with paul and their older bro while in bristol in the late 90s – being at the same spots and saying hello, they were both v.good skaters.

    paul was futuristic in a way this generation may not understand, its all time relevant and skateboarding evolved quickly. eg: the frontside flip across the road round the corner from LL was shocking as everyone who was skating at that era should remember. any USA pro would have had that f.s flip in their video part if they could do it, (even now 20 yrs later?) and he did it sick.
    i followed a not unsimilar life pattern, in terms of degraded mental health and overall functionality (nowhere near as good a skater tho) i know what its liek to be skating a gap while on strong meds and around friends who dont quite understand. anyway i am now skating again since last year – after a non-skate knee injury stopped me skating 10 yrs ago, i never thought id be back.

    i know that following an organic plant based "vegan" lifestyle, avoiding toxins in diet and other synthetic pollutants as much as we can, and also avoiding the reverse mode media and entertainment industry influences (which actually includes the music and even the skateboarding mainstream!) are the ways to healing our minds as well as oure bodies and teh way to a better future.

    hello to anyone who reads this and gets what im saying or who is interested. big up any vegan skaters,

  3. I feel like his situation was because of the weed he was smoking at his age i remember when i was younger i always use to be sketched out with shit like that

  4. I was in the same position as this skater. I was a bboy champ, the best in my country when I was only 17 years old. So out of excitement and the <cool> feeling I smoked weed once. Honestly that one high changed my life for the worse in so many ways. Symptoms started a couple days later when my sleep was gradually deteriorating to the point where I slept max for 1 hour every night at best after hours of trying. Days later I started feeling anxious for no reason only to have that anxiety manifest into constant panic attacks that started making me delusional.

    My body got so weak I couldnt practice anymore and I had to stop all together only to try and function and go to school. I started having severe depression and suicidal thoughts only to have things still getting worse and worse by the day. I was up for 6 months on 1-2 hours of sleep every night. But one day I said I have to get help cause this is hell and I'll never escape it.

    I found the best psychiatrist in the country. His explanation was that weed was the cause, and it doesnt matter how many times I smoke because whenever you get high its like you play russian roullette with mental illnesses. It can manifest into schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar or nothing. You never know, even when you got high once and afterwards it was okay, you might still fall ill the next time. Mind that my brother got schizophrenia from weed but he is still in denial because he doesnt have the mental power to push through and understand he is sick, so he cant be helped as he rejects it all the time.

    The doctor also explained I was acutally lucky because I could have gotten much more severe illness and that there are times when nothing can be done for some people and they have to get locked up into mental wards, so yes marijuana is evil and poisonous. Not like the commercials, but in a very different way. Good thing he prescribed some SSRI's and sleeping medication.

    That treatment actually made wonders. I was way more calm, could sleep better and the delusions gradually left because I could be grounded and think straight. A year later after 4 years of suffering we stopped the treatment and I feel like a new reborn person, back to the days before weed where I was functioning like I should.

    So I can understand what happened to Paul Alexander, and honestly weed or any drug in general just aint worth it, nor you should believe the misguided idiots that will try to justify everything weed does and portray it as harmless.

  5. I had to stop smoking weed because after years of taking hits frequently, I started to feel paranoid and depressive, I thought I was going to be one of those people who can smoke for their whole life and everything will be fine, but not my case and it took me some time to accept that, I confess. Be careful with weed, I support legalization for a bunch of reasons, but it has to come with lots of information, the idea that weed is totally inoffensive is misleading. Since I stopped smoking I'm much better, those kind of thoughts disappeared.

    I'm not saying that weed was the main factor that got Paul Alexander in this situation, but it may have made the illness worse.

  6. Ight I’m sorry for this shit and it’s really sad actually, but no one is gonna mention he’s pushin mongo

  7. Weed triggered his schizophrenia. A friend of mine had the exact same thing happening to him after smoking weed daily for 2 years.

  8. So Paul Alexander was a heavy pot smoker by age 14.
    They say the brain stops it development by age 26.
    So for 12 years he was fucking over his brain

  9. one of my skating homies has shizophenia it really hurts but it's a part of life I hope the best for him it must be very difficult to deal with I always listened to my friend with schizophrenia but didn't give him advise he appreciates it more than anyone else he talked to

  10. You hear about the exact same symptoms from so many people and same situation you'd think Mabry they aren't tripping and they covering something up when it happen to me it felt like I was processing everything so fast and like I'd been blind me whole life before that

  11. Drug indeuced psychosis from smoking too much doobies , the brain hadn’t fully developed and he left himself open for demons to get into his mind

  12. Probably took a hardcore upper and then smoked weed, which induced the schizophrenia this is actually pretty common

  13. This story broke my heart Paul had so much potential but he had no body to talk to. I know what it feels when your a kid or teenager and you experience very bad situations that most people your age don't go through it makes you feel alone so you just keep it all in. I can see that the old Paul that everyone new was gone. I know how it feels to lose who you were and be replaced by someone you barely even recognize in the mirror its happen to me many times.

  14. I used to smoke hella and everyone once in a blue moon and I would have bad trips from just smoking too much. When you have a bad trip it feels like how he was feeling but not as bad.

  15. Marijuana has a lot to do with this I'm sorry. It gets glamorized by the industry like tobacco was but half people i know who used for year are know schizo..

  16. Dead ass went through this a couple times since 2012 man… being a paranoia schizophrenic is no joke man.. life hits you randomly and when your high af and feel alone you get lost in your thoughts. That’s when shit gets real fuckin trippy. No sleep and hallucinating non stop until you seek help. Prayers up to those goin through this.

  17. 8:54 The film of HIS LIFE. That he believed was happening because IT WAS but just not by camera, his own eyes, to be enough for himself. others definitely did give him the impression he was because as we can see from this film he was every time he was out… so…. ya i mean it played a roll in him perceiving this I feel, and that is obvious from watching this lol…. whenever he was out, he did get recorded by like a friend or someone already out recording and ya…that is normal but it totally played a part 🙁 I understand what he is talking about though…
    9:55 What i am getting at is, he was probably normal, just not to that particular areas standard, to which he deviated from. Then the meds come or even without the meds we can induce illness upon ourselves by believing it to be, as we use coincidences and things that happen the way they do – as justifications to validate a further muddled or paranoid view of the world. idk think about it

  18. for real, mental hospitals just make it worse… you should be neurohacking through exposure not enclosure from the world around you. Literally, the world, around you. there are better ways I feel, it just takes fearlessness and patience to give said person time and energy. Fearlessness, because confusion and misunderstanding makes most fearful/scared..loved ones can feel and notice this, it comes off as an offensive indifference….hurtful. the snowball begins to build from there. 🙁

  19. Thats a hard story! Life is not that easy for the most of us. I hope everything will change too a good thing! 🙏🏽

  20. Youtube Recommendations
    2015 – No
    2016 – Not even close
    2017 – nah
    2018 – bit longer
    2019 – hey you seen this video?

  21. Smoking weed at a young age stops your ambition dead, I never did it, even as a young kid I could see it was stopping these peoples drive.

  22. Mental health is the last bastion of medical health and I really hope we start to make leaps and bounds in the research of the human brain…. Also, last clip with the grind into the safety glass was actually awesome… I call that a FIRST TRYYY!

  23. This dude is just one of those incredibly athletic people that took up skateboarding. Seems like the ki d of guy that would've been good at any sport that he tried

  24. its wild how the people who can think more sharply and are more intuitive than others are more prone to mental illness… More prone to addiction and depression and all manner of madness…

  25. walkingaround for two weeks.. Jesus, ive heard this more than once.. Smart people that seemingly have a mental break, are up for days and wonder till the point that they collapse and sometimes die and arent found for months… Remember one guy was found in the mountains in arizona, caught on video doing similar things, wondering till he died of exposure..

  26. My little brother was a really good skater back in the 80's. It felt like he just loved the attention from people. He developed bad depression and eventually became an alcoholic too. He'll be 49 later this year! He also started his downside after his gf of nine years left him for someone else.

  27. Grew up skating and surfing from age 14. I've been in and out of wards and rehabs for more than thirty years now. I keep believing that every time will be my last. It definitely impacted my creativity, to a point of numbness.
    Never quit, never give up!

  28. The amazing thing about this issue is that he articulated everything he experienced as a schizophrenic but yet a schizophrenic doesnt know they are crazy usually.

  29. We've the studies now that show this is caused by smoking weed before the brain reaches a certain development stage different in all though not much, sad so sad

  30. Peace and love ! Talk to your love ones. Call or txt can mean alot. Ive been starring in that movie too… now i can laugh about it. But its a scary stuff.

  31. I first smoked weed at 12 years old and continued heavy usage into my late teens. Developed schizoaffective disorder in my early 20's. Please wait until you're an adult to smoke weed. You have no idea what mental illness can do to your life…

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