Outpouring of support after Mitchell Johnson's sad admission

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Mitchell Johnson, pictured here with wife Jessica and daughter Rubika after his final Test match in 2015.
Mitchell Johnson with wife Jessica and daughter Rubika after his final Test match for Australia in 2015. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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.

‘VERY CONFIDENT’: Daniel Andrews flags Boxing Day crowds

'AWFUL TO WATCH': Rival's backhanded compliment for Steve Smith

“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.”

Mitchell Johnson, pictured here during a Test match for Australia in 2015.
Mitchell Johnson celebrates a wicket during a Test match for Australia in 2015. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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.

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.

Readers seeking support and information about mental health issues can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.