Fans have rallied around Mitchell Johnson after the Aussie cricket legend revealed his battle with depression.
Appearing on Channel 7 reality show SAS Australia on Monday night, Johnson opened up about his struggles since retiring from professional cricket.
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“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 said.
“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.”
Johnson, who retired from professional cricket in 2018, said his battle with depression stems form before his playing days finished.
“I found out I’ve got depression … but I think the depression was something I’ve had even from a younger age,” he admitted.
“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.
“Through my cricket career, I actually just dealt with it.
“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.”
Fans rally around Mitchell Johnson
The 38-year-old revealed how during a 2011 tour of South Africa he “got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying being a professional cricketer”, saying he “took everything personally” and didn’t enjoy being in the constant spotlight.
“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.”
Viewers took to social media to send their well-wishes to Johnson, with many commending him on his bravery to speak up.
#mitchelljohnson you're a legend mate. Hang in there.
— Gordon Liddy🔞🧨🍸🇦🇺 (@tismdude) October 26, 2020
Good on you Mitch,it takes guts to be so open about yourself.
— Themi from Καρυα Ολυμπου 🇦🇺🇬🇷 (@Themi34464978) October 26, 2020
Good on him speaking about his mental health struggles, it is so bloody hard.
— Katie (@Carlando4eva) October 26, 2020
— Andrew Davies (@Sharkandy72) October 26, 2020
Great to hear more high-profile Aussies speaking out about depression. It can hit anyone at any time. I've been there. Mitchell Johnson has been there. Nothing to be ashamed of #SASAustralia
— DyadDU (@DyadDu) October 26, 2020
Wish him the best. One of the greatest bowlers of all time. “Cricket 2020: Mitchell Johnson depression, SAS Australia interview | Fox Sports https://t.co/1GFT0kFGSB
— Bala Yogesh (@Yo_Bala) October 26, 2020
Johnson is among the top five Australian wicket-takers of all time in Tests, one-day internationals and T20s.
His 313 Test wickets are only bettered by Nathan Lyon (339), Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708).
He is also the third-highest Test wicket-taker among left-arm fast bowlers, only behind Wasim Akram (414) of Pakistan and Chaminda Vaas (355) of Sri Lanka.
His figures of 8-61 against South Africa in 2008 are the best by a left-arm fast bowler in a single innings in Test cricket history.
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