Nick Kyrgios has opened up about his battle with mental health, revealing he has self-harmed and struggled with suicidal thoughts.
In a candid post on Instagram, the Australian said he abused alcohol and drugs during one of his “darkest periods” in 2019.
The 26-year-old uploaded a photo from that year’s Australian Open, showing marks on his right arm, along with an emotional caption.
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“This was me three years ago at the Australian Open. Most would assume I was doing OK mentally or enjoying my life… it was one of my darkest periods," he wrote.
“If you look closely, on my right arm you can see my self harm. I was having suicidal thoughts and was literally struggling to get out of bed, let alone play in front of millions.
“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends. I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone.
“This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive. I know that day to day life can seem extremely exhausting, impossible at times.”
Kyrgios, who won the men’s doubles title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Australian Open, added that he was “proud” to say he had “completely turned” himself around – and urged others to get help if they were struggling.
“I understand that you feel if you open up it may make you feel weak, or scared. I’m telling you right now, it’s OK, you are not alone,” he continued.
“I’ve been through those times when it seemed as if those positive energetic vibes were never ever going to be reality.
“Please, don’t feel as if you are alone, if you feel as if you can’t talk to anyone, I’m here, reach out.
“I’m proud to say I’ve completely turned myself around and have a completely different outlook on everything, I don’t take one moment for granted. I want you to be able to reach your full potential and smile.
This life is beautiful.
Kyrgios has courted plenty of controversy throughout his career, but he has also breathed new storylines into a sport crying out for a different narrative amid Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer’s battle for supremacy on the men’s tour.
He played a starring role in a thrilling fortnight at the Australian Open, winning alongside Kokkinakis and pushing eventual finalist Daniil Medvedev to four sets in the singles.
He has been described by Eurosport expert John McEnroe as the “most talented player” to emerge in the last decade, although he last reached the second round of a Slam in 2015.
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