Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has opened up on his battle with depression, saying he continues to struggle with his mental health even after retiring from all forms of cricket in 2018.
“Through my cricket career I actually just dealt with it (depression), it’s just about me now actually moving forward and taking it upon myself to be active with certain things, to keep my mind going,” Johnson said in Channel 7’s SAS Australia.
“I’ve found it tougher since retiring from cricket. All of a sudden, you’re not doing as much. You sort of lose your purpose a little bit,” he added.
Johnson, who took 313 wickets from 73 Tests, retired from Test cricket in 2015 but continued to play for three more years in the IPL and Big Bash.
“I struggle with, probably, confidence at times. I’m in that transition now where I’ve been out of playing cricket for about two years,” the 38-year-old said.
Asked if he had found retirement hard, Johnson replied: “Yeah plenty of times. I found out I’ve got depression but I think the depression was something I’ve had even from a younger age.
“It (cricket) sort of blocked things out in a way. It sort of hid the depression, but there was a lot of times where you would go back to your room, you’re away from family and you start to dwell on things.”
Johnson feels a cricketer’s lifestyle is at times responsible for such a condition.
“You have your moments where you struggle with it really bad and it can be tricky when you’ve got a lot of time to think about things,” he said.
“You’ve just got no control whatsoever and your mind starts playing those tricks on you, you start thinking of the worst,” the left-arm pacer added.