Former Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson, who retired from all forms of cricket in 2018, has opened up on his struggle because of mental health. He stated that he was suffering from depression from a young age, but cricket helped him to hide his mental illness.
Mitchell Johnson threatened batsman with his pace and bouncers. He represented Australia in 73 Test matches, 153 ODIs and 30 T20Is, picking 313, 239 and 38 wickets respectively.
Talking on Monday night’s episode of SAS Australia with Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham and Ollie Ollerton, former Australian pacer said that he had stopped enjoying cricket back in 2011. He could not ignore outer voices and was deeply affected by criticism.
“In 2011 in South Africa, I just wasn’t enjoying myself. I wasn’t enjoying being a professional cricketer and, I guess, being looked at and judged all the time.
“I just took everything personally. I was physically exhausted, and I was mentally exhausted, as well. I just thought about it too much, just the lead-up of it,” Mitchell Johnson said.
Cricket blocked things out for me: Mitchell Johnson
He revealed that he had lost confidence in him, and after consultation, he found out that he is suffering from depression from a younger age, but cricket had helped him to deny his mental suffering.
“I just think I’m in that transition now where I’ve been out of playing cricket for two years. I found out I got depression. But I think the depression is something I’ve had from even a younger age’,” he said.
“Cricket blocked things out in a way. It sort of hid the depression, but there were a lot of times where you go back to your room, you’re away from family, and you start to dwell on things.”
Mitchell Johnson played a key role in the semi-final and final matches of the 2015 World Cup, which ultimately culminated in Australia winning the World Cup for the fifth time.