A World T20 trophy to his name, second-highest-paid player in an IPL season, and yet India cricketer Robin Uthappa was having a bout with clinical depression at the peak of his playing career. As he says in his own words- ‘It doesn’t matter where you are from or who you are, depression can get to you.’
Uthappa opened up on Quint and shared his battle with depression. The Karnataka cricketer made his international debut against England in 2006 and stamped his authority from the very onset. He received an immense amount of adulation from the sport he loved and yet there was something eating him up from inside.
“In 2008, I played (IPL) for Mumbai Indians and I was just transferred to the RCB. I was very conflicted because the trade happened very close to the tournament. I think 3-4 weeks before. Suddenly, you’re preparing the whole year to play for one team and you’re thrown into a trade situation when you have to go to another team. Even though I was coming home (Bengaluru), I was very conflicted. And I think that was the hay that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, for me.” he said.
“I was thinking about how I would survive this day and move on to the next, what’s happening to my life and in which direction am I heading. Cricket kept my mind off of these thoughts but it became really difficult on non-match days and during the off-season.”
Uthappa stressed on the importance of seeking help from a professional counsellor. He mentioned how his mother had encouraged him to visit a professional to get a better vision of things. The 34-year-old said finishing the course helped him to a great extent. Uthappa admitted not going to his counsellor after a period thinking he is back to being fine. However, depression hit him again in the year 2011. He then made sure to finish the course and since then he has been leading a better life.
The elegant batsman amassed runs aplenty in the IPL and proved to be productive in the domestic circuit as well. He was the highest run-getter in the 2014-15 season of the Ranji Trophy. His last international appearance for India came in the year 2015 against Zimbabwe. However, he is still a sought-after athlete when it comes to the cash-rich IPL. He was roped in by the Rajasthan Royals for Rs 3 Crore ahead of the 2020 IPL season-which has now faced postponement due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Mental well-being is as important as physical well-being and hence we encourage you to seek help in case you don’t feel okay. After all, it’s okay to not be okay!