Off The Field

‘I’ve found it tougher since retiring’: Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson on struggles with depression

Written by Abhishek Patil

Mitchell Johnson was one of the most fearful bowlers of his generation.  He was instrumental in Australia’s victory in the 2015 World Cup, cementing his name in the list of great Aussie fast bowlers. After an ultra-successful career, Johnson announced his retirement from international cricket in November 2015.

Johnson opened on his struggles recently, where he revealed that he found his battle with depression a lot tougher after retiring from the sport.

“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. 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 told Channel 7’s SAS Australia.

“Yeah plenty of times (I found retirement hard). 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.

“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.”

“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. You’ve just got no control whatsoever and your mind starts playing those tricks on you, you start thinking of the worst.”

Johnson is currently a commentator for Fox Cricket covering the Big Bash League and the JLT Cup.

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Abhishek Patil