'I thought about killing myself': the depression of a basketball superstar
You may remember Liz Cambage for being the executioner who crushed Spain in the semifinals of the last World Cup. Or because three months before he had broken the historical record
You may remember Liz Cambage for being the executioner who crushed Spain in the semifinals of the last World Cup. Or because three months earlier he had broken the WNBA record-breaking record: 53 points. "You can do what you want on the track," Lucas Mondelo resigned after that defeat. And many times it is true. But this month Cambage was absent from two games of his team, Las Vegas Aces. The official reason was 'rest'. The real one, she confessed later: her mental health problems.
In an open letter in 'The Players' Tribune', Liz Cambage confesses that after a bad game against his former team, the Dallas Wings, he suffered a serious anxiety crisis. "I found an empty hallway outside the locker room and, with the equipment still on, I panicked. I couldn't breathe," he recalls. "I decided two things: I had to re-medicate myself. And I needed a break. I left the team and basketball to focus on my recovery. [...] That requires mostly rest. A lot of rest. Rehabilitation like any other injury."
Cambage has always been sincere with his mental problems, even the most extreme: for example, how after Australia lost in the quarterfinals of the Rio 2016 Games, he came to think about suicide. Basketball was destroying her. And that brutal honesty is also his message.
"I know that people seem prepared to talk about mental health, but are they really? Are you ready to talk about how, at age 15, I started getting drunk until I lost consciousness? How did I wake up with a vial in the arm after a weekend of partying and was not able to remember anything? "says Cambage. "Are you ready to talk about how in 2016 I was under surveillance because of the danger of suicide? What did I call my mother and told her that I didn't want to continue living?"
Liz Cambage joins athletes like Andrés Iniesta, Kevin Love, DeMar DeRozan or Bojan Krkic , who have spoken openly about their anxiety or depression problems to raise awareness of their importance. The Australian claims for the WNBA a measure like the one that the NBA has recently taken, which forces its teams to hire professionals to attend to the mental health of their players.
"Perhaps we have not yet reached the point - and we will probably not be here soon - when the official match report says something like 'Leave for mental health'. Worse while, here is the update on the state of Liz Cambage: he is going to day with his anxiety and depression. And to be honest, it will probably always go like this. And you know what? Nothing happens for that, "Cambage closes.
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