Nick Kyrgios shares a touching message about struggles with mental health

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Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios took to Instagram to open up about his issues

Nick Kyrgios has always been one of the hottest topics in tennis. The Australian carries his own unique personality on the court. You could either love him or hate him but it’s difficult to ignore him. Tennis fans across the world identify Kyrgios as the very aggressive sportsman who plays with his heart on his sleeves. He is often seen losing his temper on the court and has been criticised for his behaviour as well.

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios shares a touching message about struggles with mental health 4

Kyrgios stated in the post that he found it difficult to open up to anyone. He kept fighting a lonely battle within himself. It was so bad he has even contemplated suicide. On a positive note, Kyrgios revealed that he is out of the dark phase now. He further added that if anyone feels down he is always there to help out. In the current scenario, when sports stars across the globe have spoken up about normalising mental health issues, this adds up as one more positive step.

Here is what he to say:

“This was me 3 years ago at the Australian Open. Most would assume I was doing ok mentally or enjoying my life… it was one of my darkest periods. If you look closely, on my right arm you can see my self harm. I was having suicidal thoughts and was literally struggling to get out of bed, let alone play in front of millions. I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family & friends. I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone.

He continued: This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive. I know that day to day life can seem extremely exhausting, impossible at times. I understand that you feel if you open up it may make you feel weak, or scared. I’m telling you right now, it’s OK, you are not alone. I’ve been through those times when it seemed as if those positive energetic vibes were never ever going to be reality. Please, don’t feel as if you are alone, if you feel as if you can’t talk to anyone, I’m here, reach out. I’m proud to say I’ve completely turned myself around and have a completely different outlook on everything, I don’t take one moment for granted. I want you to be able to reach your full potential and smile. This life is beautiful.”

Incidents of athletes speaking about normalising mental health issues

We have seen a positive wave of change across the world when it comes to mental health. Public figures and celebrities have opened up about their struggles in public. They have stressed on the importance of seeking professional advice. The whole point of it is to ensure people do not consider anxiety disorders or other mental health issues as “social tabboo”.

Naomi Osaka French Open
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 04: Naomi Osaka of Japan wears a protective face mask with the name, Ahmaud Arbery stenciled on it after winning her Women’s Singles third round match against Marta Kostyuk of the Ukraine on Day Five of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old African-American man, was pursued and fatally shot while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Here are a few examples of athletes leading the way to normalise mental health disorders.

1. Naomi Osaka – Osaka surprised everyone with a sudden withdrawal from the 2021 French Open. She clarified she took the step to preserve her mental health and avoid media scrutiny. She has suffered bouts of depression previously and she didn’t want all of it to come back. “It’s OK not to be OK”, the Japanese star said in an iconic statement.

2. Glenn Maxwell – Maxwell, an Australian cricketer took an indefinite break from the sport citing mental health issues. He opened up publicly about the importance of taking care of one’s mental health. The cricketer highlighted it’s more important to take care of your own health whether it’s physical or mental than to play a sport while fighting a lonely battle against your own self.

3. Simone Biles – The American gymnast has been one of the leading figures in this campaign. A multiple-time Olympic gold medallist, Biles has been fighting depression and anxiety since childhood. She voluntarily withdrew from multiple disciplines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The withdrawal sparked a global discussion about taking care of mental health and put us one step ahead in normalising it.

Simone Biles
Simone Biles

Kyrgios’ message definitely comes across as another positive step. With the global athletes leading the way, it won’t be long before we become a part of a society who do not consider mental health a “tabboo” anymore.

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