England all-rounder Ben Stokes has recently opened up on his mental health issues which he dealt with in 2021, leading to a six-month break from the game. He referred to the situation as a ‘huge buildup of multiple things’ that eventually burst as well. He has also suffered a panic attack after The Hundred game against Trent Rockets last year. As a result, Stokes took an indefinite break from the game to attend to his mental health. The ECB praised him for showing courage to speak up about his well-being as well.
Speaking to The Guardian, Ben Stokes recalled the circumstances and said that he didn’t know what happened and struggled to describe it. However, he admitted it was a long time coming as the ‘glass bottle’ that eventually smashed too.
“I didn’t know what was happening,” said Ben Stokes. “The best way to explain it is, not a two-week thing but a huge buildup of multiple things over time. It’s like you’re a glass bottle, you keep putting things in there, and eventually over time, there’s no more room, and it smashes. That’s what happened in Nottingham – the bottle smashed. But it’s hard to remember what happened, I can’t really explain it.”
The mental health break saw Ben Stokes miss the Test series against India on home soil and the T20 World Cup in the UAE. The veteran all-rounder returned for the Ashes series in Australia in December but struggled to do well with either bat or ball as the tourists lost 4-0.
“It was a case of completely stepping away from sport. And speaking to a clinical psychologist, someone who could understand what I was feeling and tell me what my brain is doing, why it’s happening. I still speak to the doc, not as regularly, and I’m still taking medication every day. It’s an ongoing process,” Ben Stokes concluded.