APPROXIMATELY one in five people will experience a mental health issue in their lifetimes.

If not yourself, then statistically a friend, sibling, family member or colleague close to you.

Of these, the anxiety and mood disorders are the most prominent.

Jelena Dokic’s struggles have been well documented both by herself, and a largely empathetic public genuinely affected by her life history.

Like many people who have experienced major depression, the road to recovery is a difficult one.

First and foremost is a recognition that there is a problem, irrespective of how long it has been there.

Then there is the need to act upon the awareness of the problem and the need for help, no matter what forces are preventing that decision, both internally and externally.

Either by the person suffering or those closest to them. Someone needs to take responsibility.

Former Australian tennis player Jelena Dokic used Instagram recently to inform people that she came close to ending her life earlier this year.

Dokic, 39, achieved a career-high WTA rankings of No. 4 in 2002 simply “just wanted the pain and the suffering to stop”.

The lengthy Instagram post was accompanied by an image of Dokic tearful and distressed.

Importantly, the 2000 Wimbledon semi-finalist pleaded with her Instagram followers to seek professional help if they were experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts. dokic_jelena

Verified

28.04.2022-I almost jumped off my 26th floor balcony and took my own life.
Will never forget the day.
Everything is blurry.Everything is dark.
No tone,no picture,nothing makes sense…..just tears,sadness,depression,anxiety and pain.
The last six months have been tough.
It’s been constant crying everywhere.From hiding in the bathroom when at work to wipe away my tears so that nobody sees it to the unstoppable crying at home within my four walls has been unbearable.
Constant feelings of sadness and pain are just not going away and my life has been shattered.
I blame myself,I don’t think I am worthy of loving and I am scared.
I also know that I still have so many things to be grateful for and then I start to hate myself because by feeling this way I feel like I am not grateful because I mustn’t be since I want to end it all.
Such a vicious cycle in my head.
The result:almost jumping off my 26th floor balcony on April 28th.
Will never forget the day,I just wanted the pain and the suffering to stop.
I pulled myself of the edge,don’t even know how I managed to do it.Getting professional help,saved my life.
This is not easy to write but I have always been open,honest and vulnerable with you all and I deeply believe in the power of sharing our stories to help us get through things and to help each other.
I am writing this because I know I am not the only one struggling.
Just know that you are not alone.
I am not going to say that I am doing great now but I am definitely on the road to recovery.
Some days are better than others and sometimes I take a step forward and then a step back but I’m fighting and I believe I can get through this.
I believe in the following:
it’s ok to feel what I am feeling.
It’s ok to feel sad just keep fighting and come back.
That’s what I am trying to do and that’s what keeps me going.
Don’t be ashamed of what you are feeling.
It’s ok to feel this way and you can come back from it.It’s possible,just keep believing.
Love you all and here is to fighting and surviving to live and see another day.
I will be back stronger than ever. 🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️
#mentalhealth #suicide #mentalhealthawareness #mentalillness #depression #tennis #wta

Major Depressive Disorder is a treatable mental illness. It may be multifactorial in its etiology, and the management also multifaceted, but there is always a way through it.

People with major depression experience a prolonged period of sustained and relentless sad mood, emptiness, spontaneous tearfulness and struggle to get out of bed in the morning to face the day.

There are cognitive problems also accompanying the mood: suicidal ideation, anger, irritability, concentration and memory issues, themes of guilt, punishment, hopelessness, helplessness and hopelessness.

There is a loss of interest and motivation, loss of enjoyment and suicidal behaviour, increasingly unable to resist the impulses.

Other physical changes evident include sleep disturbance, appetite suppression or bingeing, loss of energy and libido and constipation.

Depression can be episodic and recurrent, prolonged or chronic, or part of a larger bipolar disorder or psychosis.

There are a range of therapies available, but in essence are in the realm of pharmacotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy and its variations, supportive therapy and alternative therapies.

Physical therapy such as sport has also been acknowledged as a genuine treatment for depression.

But the role of sport in a person’s life is not always beneficial.

There are the benefits of physical fitness, setting goals, being part of a supportive structure of a club or organisation with its additional specialties.

But there is also the relentless expectation to succeed. To do your best, be the best, or else there is the possibility of humiliation, failure, rejection by the fan base and the very same support structures that were present at the beginning of the journey.

Athletes are often cast as role models, whether they agree to it or not. Not all individuals are suited to this rapid change especially at a young age.

Then there is the pressure from family.

In Dokic’s case, the well-publicised treatment by an apparently narcissistic and paranoid father where his own failures were projected onto a daughter wanting her father’s approval.

And an acceptance of the responsibility of looking after her family given their humble beginnings.

Tennis provided the vehicle to achieve all of this and more.

But did her chosen sport prove to be more of a hindrance than a blessing?

For Dokic, the result was a gradual deterioration of her mental health as she failed to achieve the greatness expected.

An acerbic betrayal with the Australian tennis association and the Australian public, followed by a reconciliation of sorts. Her visible struggles with weight gain and body image, relationships, culminating in the separation from her long-term partner Tin Bikic earlier this year after almost 19 years together.

Somehow, Dokic forged a new relationship with those she shunned and in turn shunned her back.

A new form of mutual respect and appreciation.

A new form of caring and understanding.

A new beginning.

 

Image via dailymail

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