Nick Kyrgios on depression battle: ‘I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone. It was a lonely, dark place’

ATP Tour
Nick Kyrgios

He has never been shy to talk about his mental health struggles, but in his latest interview touching on the subject, Nick Kyrgios admitted there were times where he “didn’t want to see the light of day”.

The Australian first revealed his battle against depression in 2018 when he confirmed that he had started seeing psychologists in an attempt to “get on top of his mental health” while he also vowed to reduce his schedule.

And nearly two years later the 25-year-old told Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph magazine, Stellar Magazine, about the “a lonely, dark place” that he found himself in because of depression.

“When I was struggling – and it wasn’t just about tennis – there were moments when I was seriously depressed. I remember waking up in Shanghai one year and it was 4pm and I was still in bed, curtains closed. I didn’t want to see the light of day,” he said.

“I felt like no one wanted to know me as a person, they just wanted to get a hold of me as a tennis player and use me. I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone. It was a lonely, dark place. And things came from that.

“A lot of people were putting pressure on me, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I just lost joy for the game and I was spiralling out of control. I fell into depression because of the things I thought I had to be. I was afraid to go out and talk to people because I thought I’d let them down because I wasn’t winning matches.”

Despite being portrayed as the bad boy of tennis, Kyrgios has been a shining light in 2020 as he was at the forefront of fundraising efforts, including Rally for Relief, for the Australian bushfires at the start of the year.

He also helped hundreds of families in his native Canberra during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I bought $8000 worth of groceries in one hit and [people] are looking and I’m going, ‘It’s not for me!’,” he revealed.

“One that stands out was a pregnant woman.

“She couldn’t leave her kids to go get groceries and she was really struggling, so I just dropped off a couple of boxes at her door. I didn’t do that for any media. I just genuinely took time out of my day because I thought it was the right thing to do.”

And while Covid-19 has had a negative impact on many people, it has allowed Kyrgios to spend more time with his family.

“Nothing beats playing in some of the best parts of the world against tough opponents and doing all the work off the court to have success. I’m definitely missing it. But I don’t live and breathe tennis,” he said.

“I love being at home with my family and my girlfriend, and working with my foundation (for underprivileged children) and helping the community. There are plenty of other things I love doing.”

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