Harmison hid depression as 'homesickness'

England

Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison says he spent 10 years of his career hiding his depression as homesickness, and feels Jonathan Trott should focus on getting himself better before thinking about the game again.

Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison says he spent 10 years of his career hiding his depression as homesickness, and feels Jonathan Trott should focus on getting himself better before thinking about the game again.

Harmison played 63 Tests for England and admits to nearly pulling out of the side twice, but was unwilling to admit back then that his depression was more than simple longing for home comforts.

Harmison, who retired recently, revealed in the <i>Daily Telegraph</i>: "Nobody knows more than me what it is like to be depressed while you are on a cricket tour because I spent 10 years hiding it as homesickness.

"I said I was homesick and that was actually used as a stick to beat me with. It was not just homesickness, although that did not help.

"It is a chemical imbalance in the brain and it is something I battled with for years. It tended to be inflamed when I was away from home because I did miss people, I was lonely and I did not have my support network around me.

"It is so, so tough. I can remember sleepless nights in hotel rooms where I would be in tears and then going out to play the next day.

"I used to surround myself with people. I took a dart board with me so that people would come to my room after training or a day's play. I was comfortable with people around, it was when I was alone that the world caved in."

Harmison advised Trott to look after himself rather than worry about getting back to the game, saying his happiness was more important. Players like Marcus Trescothick went on to have long careers, despite not returning to the Three Lions.

Harmison added: "There are a few of us in the game he can speak to, but if he never plays international cricket again and is happy, that is a better outcome than playing and suffering.

"Hopefully he will be back, but the only person who can sort it out is Jonathan."

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