'I was almost putting emotions and feelings into a glass bottle' - Ben Stokes opens up on mental health battles

Stokes was speaking on the Red Bull's Mind Set Win podcast.

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Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Photo Source: Twitter)

England cricketer Ben Stokes has finally spoken up about the phase when he was on a 'six-month break' from cricket, citing mental health issues back in 2021. The instances of high-profile athletes prioritising their mental health has triggered an important shift in the narrative of mental health in sports. 

Back in the day mental health was not taken as seriously as it is today and that has become possible after several athletes have come out in the public and raised awareness about the same.

Everything got a bit too much for me: Ben Stokes

"I was almost putting emotions and feelings into a glass bottle. The glass bottle got too full and exploded and then everything got a bit too much for me at that time," the 31-year-old spoke about his mental health in an appearance on Red Bull's Mind Set Win podcast as reported by mirror.co.uk.

Citing all the unfortunate instances and unexpected turn of events in his life, the all-rounder poured his heart out. He stated that he felt like he was forced into a cage from where he wasn't allowed to set free. A very important point which he mentioned was that he wasn't allowed to express his raw emotions to anyone. He felt left alone on most occassions. 

"Looking back it was a buildup of almost compressing emotions or feelings and not being comfortable in speaking about them to anybody. I was by myself in a hotel room where the team were staying, it was very early in the morning and things started happening that had never happened to me before. 

It's very hard to look back on that specific moment but what I do know and I'll openly say is that I wasn't very good at talking to people before that fateful day. Whereas I'm a lot better now at doing that and I'm a lot more open to speaking to the right people who I feel comfortable to speaking about," said Stokes.

Now, Stokes says that he takes mental health very seriously and regularly indulges in consulting professionals who help him out.

"The gentleman I ended up speaking to came as highly recommended, so I had a lot of long, really good face-to-face chats with him. It was great to be able to go in and speak to someone for a couple of hours and he actually got it. He could understand it and then explain to me what was going on by listening to the things I was telling him because although it's great being able to open up to people who are close to you just for them to listen, but it’s even better to be able to do the same thing with someone who can almost explain everything to you so you get an understanding of what’s going on," he further mentioned.

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