India captain Virat Kohli revealed that he battled depression during a distressing tour of England in 2014 where he felt like he was the “loneliest guy in the world” after a string of failures with the bat.
Kohli conceded that he went through a tough phase during the particularly difficult tour which he revealed in a conversation with former England player Mark Nicholas on his ‘Not Just Cricket’ podcast.
Kohli also urged that he would like to see more mental health awareness in cricket.
He said during India’s Test series in England in 2014 he had gone through a bout of depression and those players going through such phases need professional help.
“Personally, for me, that was a revelation that you could feel that lonely even though you are a part of a big group. I won’t say I didn’t have people who I could speak to but not having a professional to speak to who could understand what I am going through completely, I think is a huge factor. I think I would like to see it change,” Kohli said in a conversation with cricket commentator Mark Nicholas in the latter’s podcast “Not Just Cricket”.
After going through a bad patch of form the players often get dropped but that is not a solution for those who are suffering from poor mental health, said Kohli.
“Lot of people suffer from that feeling for longer periods of time, it carries on for months, it carries on for a whole cricket season, people are not able to get out of it,” Kohli said.
“The only alternative left after that is the guy dropped from the team but that doesn’t solve the issue. It’s a very serious condition that should be dealt in detail with very carefully and I strongly feel the need for professional help there. Otherwise, you are just left to figure things out on your own, and more so as men, you are just expected to toughen up and get over it. Sometimes people are not able to do that,” he further said.
Kohli scored 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6 and 20 in five Tests, averaging 13.50 in his 10 innings that is his lowest in a series involving three or more Tests.
“…it’s not a great feeling to wake up knowing that you won’t be able to score runs and I think all batsmen have felt that at some stage that you are not in control of anything at all,” he said.
“You just don’t understand how to get over it. That was a phase when I literally couldn’t do anything to overturn things…I felt like I was the loneliest guy in the world,” Kohli added while citing the England tour.
Not Just Virat But Deepika Padukone to Hrithik Roshan Bollywood Celebs Campaigned For Mental Health
The leading lady in Bollywood Diva has been significantly vocal in discussing mental health related issues and has also started a foundation called Live Love Laugh, that aims to help people suffering from mental health problems.
Deepika has also been vocal about her own mental health experiences where she has spoken about the things that worked for her. She has also always advocated people to seek out help if you are going through the similar crisis.
Anushka Sharma has also openly talked about the anxiety that runs in the family. She has also revealed that she takes medications without holding any doubts. Anushka has always believed that mental illnesses are as normal as any physical ailments. Therefore, she thinks there is a dire need of these matters to be addressed openly and treated as well.
Hrithik Roshan has never shied away from discussing mental illness topics. Hrithik was not unfamiliar with mental depression as he has undergone several ups and downs in life. Hence, he not the kind of person to find anything unusual about it rather he aware people to not ignore such topics and to not shy away from seeking help.
In the decade that has gone by, the filmmaker has comfortably gone public with his struggle with mental illness. The Koffee with Karan talk show host revealed that such was an episode in anxiety and depression that he felt he was having a cardiac arrest. Karan has also revealed that he takes medical advice and works on treating his anxiety attacks.