(Reuters) – England test captain Ben Stokes kept the dialogue going on mental health as the all-rounder revealed he was still taking anxiety medication after returning from a six-month break to focus on his well-being.
The 31-year-old took time off from sport last year to focus on his mental health as he suffered a series of panic attacks following the loss of his father to brain cancer. nearly two years ago.
He announced in July that he would retire from one-day cricket citing the “unsustainable” rigor of playing all three formats of the game.
“I never thought I would be taking medication to help me with this stuff. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to say it because I needed help at the time,” Stokes said. in an Amazon documentary, which will be released on Friday. .
“But it’s not done just because I’m starting to play again. I’m still talking to the doctor, not as regularly, and I’m still taking medication every day. It’s an ongoing process.”
Stokes said he felt a deep resentment towards cricket when he took the break because he had not been able to visit his dying father as much as he wanted.
“So I had a real thing with cricket by the time I took a break. I was really angry at the sport because it dictated when I could see my dad,” he told the Telegraph in an interview.
He stressed the importance of opening up about mental health, adding that it was not human nature to pretend to be well.
“I find sometimes people are a little nervous about going into detail about this stuff with me. It feels like you can’t feel a certain way – that’s a sign of weakness to show you’re not feeling well mentally,” he said. said.
“People think they can’t ask people who have struggled. No. It’s okay. I’ll be happy to tell you as much as I can.”
(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Sam Holmes)