Byron Jamar Terry has just about wrapped up the month of September for the high school football season, while receiving interest from colleges.
The defensive back took an unofficial visit to Florida on April 6 and most recently on Sept. 17, as well as Florida A&M on April 23.
Terry also went to camps at Clemson (June 7), Wake Forest (June 8), North Carolina (June 9) and North Carolina State (June 10).
This weekend, the 2017 prospect makes another unofficial visit with a trip to Samford.
But having an opportunity to continue his academic and athletic career at the next level intertwines with Terry’s personal struggle – living the last five years trying to withstand depression.
In addition, last October, Terry was left with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-like symptoms after being robbed at gun point.
“It was real wild for me because I’ve never been through that or seen that,” he said. “It happened in broad day light. I still have nightmares about it, but I’m managing.”
Terry shared his daily battle, growth and support system during a Q&A with The Subway Alum.
When did depression begin to affect your day-to-day life? Well my depression kind of started around 2011, it just wasn’t back then what it is now. As I got older and learned more about the things around me, it got worse. Just living situations from time to time, my parents being divorced, and me just not being happy, and I couldn’t find an outlook to be happy.
How do you go about managing and coping on a daily basis? I manage with prayer and my faith. I’ve always looked to God and those close to me for guidance. Also, prescribed medication has been applied. But with my faith, I’ve survived a lot of things. Being robbed at gun point, dealing with PTSD depression, my parents being divorced, moving a lot, and that’s not even the half. But I survived it all and it’s helped me grow as a person.
What role has family, friends and coaches played in supporting you? My family has played a big role. My mom has always helped me, especially anything to see me happy. Friends have helped as well. A few teammates of mine to mention, like Josh Mays. He’s helped me to deal with that a lot, and just being there to talk to. He wasn’t the only one, but he was someone I’d look to.
What tends to trigger these depressive stages? I can’t really tell you what triggers. Sometimes I’ll just walk around sad and in a bad mood, and what not, and sometimes for no real reason. I’ll fake a smile from time to time just to keep folks from worrying too much. And with depression, especially in teenagers, suicidal thoughts come into play. And with me, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve felt that way before. I’ve been down, but I always got up, and I want other folks to know they can too.
What kind of a role does football play in dealing with depression? Football plays a role in my depression. It helps me cope with it from time to time, but that wasn’t really the thing that suppressed it. I didn’t use football as an outlook all that much. If football was going well for me at the time, then I’d be okay, but that didn’t determine whether I was depressed or not.
What are your thoughts on how the high school football season is going so far? My thoughts on the season so far are it’s going well. I just gotta keep working. It’s a team game. We can make it far, just gotta stay humble.