Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)

England Test skipper Ben Stokes opened up on his struggles with mental health and taking medications for anxiety.

Before being appointed with England’s Test captaincy, Stokes went through a lot of difficulties in life and there was no clarity whether he would take the field once more. 

Ben Stokes took a four-month break from cricket last year to tackle mental health issues

On December 8, 2020, George Stokes, father of Ben, passed away at the age of 65 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. 

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)

Eight months later Stokes took an indefinite period of break from cricket to focus on his mental health and spend time with his family.

The England all-rounder returned to the squad in the Ashes 2021-22 after nearly missing competitive cricket for four months including the India Test series and the T20 World Cup 2021.

Never thought I would be on medication: Ben Stokes

Stokes admitted that he was on medication to combat anxiety issues and continued the process even after resuming playing cricket. 

I never thought I would be on medication to help me for that kind of stuff [anxiety]. I am not embarrassed or ashamed to say it because I needed the help at the time,” Stokes said in an Amazon documentary. 

“But it’s not done just because I’m back playing. I still speak to the doc, not as regularly, and I’m still taking medication every day. It’s an ongoing process.”

Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. Photo- Twitter
Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. Photo- Twitter

I find sometimes people are a bit nervous to go into the detail about that kind of stuff with me. It’s perceived you can’t feel a certain way – that’s a sign of weakness to show that you are not mentally feeling great. People think they can’t ask people who have struggled. No. It’s fine. I’ll happily tell you as much as I possibly can.” 

In April this year, Stokes took over the captaincy reins from Joe Root in a bid to revive England’s position in Test cricket.

His alliance with coach Brendon McCullum has been looked at as the new aggressive brand of Test cricket era in modern times. England have won four Tests under Stokes and lost the only game against South Africa recently at Lord’s.

Also Read: “All Of My Decisions Will Be Based Around Test Matches” – Ben Stokes On Prioritising 5-Day Cricket Over IPL