India and Rajasthan Royals cricketer Robin Uthappa spoke in length on battling depression during the initial stage of international cricket between 2009 and 2011.
The Karnataka opening batsman, who made his international debut against England in 2006 and also won the T20 World Cup in 2007, explained that he dealt with suicidal thoughts during off-season or while he was not playing cricket.
In the latest episode of ‘Mind, Body and Soul’, a joint initiative of The Royal Rajasthan Foundation, in association with NS Vahia Foundation & McLean Hospital, Uthappa said, “When I made my debut in 2006, I wasn’t overly aware of myself. A lot of learning and development has happened since then. Right now, I am extremely aware of myself and really clear on my thoughts and myself. It’s easier for me to catch myself now if I’m slipping somewhere in someplace,” Uthappa said.
“I feel I have reached this place because I’ve gone through those tough phases wherein, I was clinically depressed and had suicidal thoughts. I remember around 2009 to 2011, it was constant and I would deal with that on a daily basis.
“There were times where I wasn’t even thinking about cricket, it was probably the farthest thing in my mind. I was thinking about how I would survive this day and move on to the next, what’s happening to my life and in which direction am I heading.
“Cricket kept my mind off of these thoughts but it became really difficult on non-match days and during the offseason. On days I would just be sitting there and would think to myself on the count of three, I’m going to run and jump off of the balcony but something kind of just held me back.
Uthappa explained it’s important to understand that a person cannot feel positive at all times and negative experiences will certainly help mould him/her.
“I feel sometimes being negative is necessary. I’m someone who believes in the balance of life and I believe one cannot at all times be positive in life. Being negative or having negative experiences, going through trials and tribulations is sometimes necessary for one’s own growth,” Uthappa said.
“For me, all my experiences have moulded me into the person I am today and I have no regrets on my negative experience as they’ve helped me develop positively.”