Sunday, August 31, 2008

Marcus Trescothick speaking about his mental illness on TMS

Part of Marcus Trescothicks TMS interview appeared transcribed on the Cricinfo commentary of todays ODI between England and South Africa. I've had more than a passing interest in mental health, depression and anxiety, which still seems to be a taboo illness, so it's great to hear Trescothick speaking openly about it:

"... I struggled more with the anxiety side of the mental struggle I was going through. Any body can pick it up. It strikes when it wants to. You need to take help, take tablets and get on the recovery path.

I always struggled when I was 10, 11 when I was away from home. There are moments when you cope with it. It's a real funny situation. You lost the security blanket of home, the comfort and you are struck in a hotel in Baroda or Sydney. You start worrying. It affects your cricket. You are trying to survive every day life let alone cricket. If you are not mentally switched on behind the scenes you have no chance at cricket.

The biggest thing is that people try to hide it all the time. I did it a few years till I didn't want to do it anymore. Let's get out and just tell the people what the problem is. I am glad I did it. ... I was just in despair actually. I was not comfortable being in hotel or in a bar with team-mates. I would be looking over my shoulder. I went to lunch one day , Me , Ashley ... and we were followed by a photographer. Every where we went. Little things like that freaks you out. My privacy was being jeopardised. He is going to take my picture and I am going to be on newspapers and they are going to pick something from there. It was getting too much.

If it [me telling about it] helps some body it's great. It's not designed as a self-help book but I would be glad if it helps some one. Why was he secretive? "I was embarrassed by it. It is treated as a weakness, you know. I would have done the same if it had happened to any body else. It's a genuine illness, though. People have a little bit more respect about it and no one has got me on the neck about it so far.

Trescothicks autobiography is coming out tomorrow, currently in the Amazon top 20 books, and the full audio interview with TMS is here. More transcript excerpts on the BBC website.

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