Digital Product Leader and Fancy Dress Campaigner
Living with anxiety and depression

While anxiety used to control much of his life, now Nicholas Jemetta is taking that power back. Nick says that understanding himself, his values and his strengths, has played a vital role in building self-confidence. Since he opened up about his mental health challenges at work, Nick’s goal has been to make a difference in workplaces across the world. He says, “I want to speak up to inspire people; you can live with a mental health condition and still achieve things you never thought possible.”

Nick’s Story

Briefly, how has your condition impacted your life? When were you first aware of it?  What was your most difficult time? 

Anxiety has permeated every aspect of my life from a young age. It drained me of my self-belief, self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, which made school difficult. I struggled to fit in, found it hard to connect with others (especially men) and over-analysed almost every situation I found myself in.

During this period, I never labelled how I felt as ‘anxiety’; I just knew I worried and seemed more sensitive than many of my male peers.

My most difficult time was at university when the pressure to date and to act like “one of the lads” got to be too much. My anxiety, combined with heavy alcohol consumption, manifested as suicidal thoughts.

I was able to move past this dark period, but anxiety has heaped pressure on my professional life. At times it’s made me doubt myself and my abilities, and for most of my career, has forced me to wear a mask to work; hiding who I really am.

What is your life like now? What does living well look like for you?

My life now is everything I thought it could NEVER be. How wrong I was!

I’ve found meaning and purpose by sharing my mental health journey, campaigning for a mentally healthier society. I’ve forged a successful career and am married with two children. Perhaps most importantly, I know who I am and love who I am.

Discovering my purpose and creating memories with those closest to me make my life joyful, rewarding, and fulfilling.

What help or specific strategies helped you to get well and move to stability?

Understanding myself, specifically, my values and strengths, has played a vital role in building my confidence. This has helped me manage my anxiety and get clear on the life I want to live; the choices I want to make.

One aspect of this self-exploration was developing my ability to laugh, to use humour in times of adversity and to embrace self-deprecation. Not taking life too seriously is underrated – just have a look at my workwear throughout 2020 and 2021!

What do you do to manage your condition and stay healthy on an ongoing basis?

My anxiety can creep up when I least expect, any time and in many situations. One of my most effective strategies is being aware of, and in touch with, how I’m feeling. By understanding how I’m feeling and the triggers for those feelings, I can take steps to mitigate. My most effective are:

  1. Exercising – anything that makes me sweat always calms my anxiety. The endorphins lift my mood and make me feel more positive
  2. Journaling – writing how I’m feeling, and what’s worrying me reduces the mental fatigue, focusing my mind on the positive actions I can take
  3. Spending time with friends and family – switching off and having quality time with the ones I love works wonders!
  4. ‘Flow’ activities – whether building Lego, colouring or solving a crossword, focusing my mind and hands helps me relax

Are there positives that have come from having a mental health condition? If so, what?


Having overcome difficult, dark and challenging experiences, I’ve felt compelled to transform my pain into the power to help others. Living with anxiety has made me kinder, more empathetic and has greatly boosted my emotional intelligence.

I wouldn’t change my anxiety – it’s part of what makes me….me!

How has your condition impacted your work and your career? 

My anxiety makes me overthink and pay meticulous attention to detail, driving me to be organised and prepared. When channeled appropriately, these attributes have served me well at work and supported my career progression.

I’ve carved out a successful career for myself, irrespective of my anxiety. However, for much of that time I hid my mental health challenges at work; I wore a mask. It felt draining to try to be two different people: professional Nick and ‘at home’ Nick.

That all changed in 2018 when I spoke publicly about my anxiety, being my whole, true self at work, and campaigning for mentally healthier workplaces.

What words of encouragement would you give to someone struggling with a condition similar to yours?

Don’t let it overwhelm you.

And don’t let it twist your current and future reality. A mental health condition does not limit you. It does not define who you are, what you can achieve or how happy you can be.

You are more than your mental health condition.

What motivated you to join The Stability Network? What do you hope to get from it?

I want to make a difference in workplaces across the world. I want to speak up to inspire people that they can live with a mental health condition but still achieve things they never thought possible.

I want to continue expanding my own definition of what’s possible by seeing firsthand, the inspiring work of the other Stability Network leaders.

Managing our mental health, including mental health conditions, is unique to every individual.

However, connecting with, learning from, and meeting inspiring people is an incredible motivator to take better care of ourselves.

Is there anything else you want to say or share?

We all have the power to help by having conversations, asking people how they are, and listening to them non-judgmentally. For anyone struggling with their mental health, talking, whilst helpful, can be difficult and overwhelming.

We should all have more confidence that mental health conversations don’t have to be scary.