I wanted to jump off balcony: Uthappa opens up on depression

Robin Uthappa
Cricketer Robin Uthappa

India batsman Robin Uthappa has opened up on his battle with depression, saying that he even wanted to jump off the balcony, but cricket held him back.

Uthappa was a part of Rajasthan Royals foundation’s live session titled “Mind, Body and Soul” and it was then that the batsman opened up on his personal battle. “I remember dealing with it for a couple of years, it was around 2009-2011, the feeling was constant and I would deal with that on a day to day basis. There were times where I was not even thinking about cricket, it was probably the farthest thing in my mind,” Uthappa said during the live session.

“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 suicidal thoughts but it became really difficult during the off-season,” he added.

Talking further about his battle, he said: “On days, I would just be sitting there and would think to myself on the count of three, I am going to run and jump off of the balcony but something kind of just held me back.”

The 34-year-old also said that he started maintaining a diary first to write down whatever he was feeling and then he started to seek professional help. “I started the process of just understanding myself as a person. I then also started to seek outside help to make the changes I wanted to make in my life,” Uthappa said.

During the interaction, Uthappa also said that men find it hard to accept that they are suffering from mental illness and added that it takes courage for them to accept that they are vulnerable. “Some part of me was actually not willing to accept that I had a problem with myself. I think sometimes we do not accept the wrong and are unwilling to do so and it is really important to have the acknowledgment,” Uthappa said.

“I feel sometimes being negative is necessary. Being negative or having negative experiences, going through trials and tribulations is sometimes necessary for one’s own growth,” he added.

However, looking at his battle with depression, Uthappa said that the experience has helped him to develop positivity. “I have no regrets about my negative experience as they’ve helped me develop positively. You need to go through the lulls to make you feel ecstatic about the positives and the achievements,” Uthappa said.

Uthappa has played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is for India so far, and has managed to score 1,183 runs across both formats.