England Test captain Ben Stokes revealed that he is on anxiety drugs medication as he is battling with ongoing mental health issues after the death of his father.
Stokes had taken a four-month rest from cricket last year to focus on his mental health as he was suffering from a series of panic attacks following the loss of his father to brain cancer almost two years ago.
While addressing the media ahead of the release of his documentary, ‘Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes’, he stated that he is on medications and it’s an ongoing process.
He said, “I never thought I would be on medication to help me for that kind of stuff. I am not embarrassed or ashamed to say it because I needed the help at the time,” said Stokes.
“But it’s not done just because I’m back playing. I still speak to the doc, but not as regularly, and I’m still taking medication every day. It’s an ongoing process,” he added.
He also mentioned that he felt deep resentment and anger towards cricket when he took the break because he was unable to see his dying father as much as he wanted.
While speaking exclusively to Telegraph, he said, “So I had a real thing with cricket at the time I took a break. I was really angry at the sport because it was dictating when I could see my dad.”
Along with pointing out his mental health issues, he also laid stress on the importance of accepting mental health and being open about it.
He said, “I find sometimes people are a bit nervous to go into details about that kind of stuff with me. It’s perceived you can’t feel a certain way – that’s a sign of weakness to show that you are not mentally feeling great.”
He said, mental health is not a sign of weakness and it’s completely okay to ask him about his struggles as he will be more than happy to address the concern.
“People think they can’t ask people who have struggled. No. It’s fine. I’ll happily tell you as much as I possibly can,” stated Stokes.