Infotainment Factory: 'I couldn't stop crying': Cambage reveals mental health battle

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Sunday, 11 August 2019

'I couldn't stop crying': Cambage reveals mental health battle


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Australian basketball star Liz Cambage has penned a powerful article about her day-to-day battle with anxiety and depression.

Cambage sat out some recent games with the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces and explained she wanted to tell the "truth of what's been going on with me".

The 27-year-old has battled mental health problems on and off for half of her life.

"I wanted to let everyone know that my mental health ... it got caught up in the rip last week," Cambage wrote in The Players Tribune on Sunday.

"And it wasn't pretty.

"It was actually pretty ugly.

"I know that, on the surface, people are 'ready' to talk about mental health,.

"But are they really?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoPr9ywhwFD/

"Are people really ready to talk about how, starting at around 15 years old, I would just get blackout drunk some nights? Or that I've woken up with an IV in my arm, after a weekend of partying, not being able to remember a thing? Or that my first attempt at sobriety was at 18?

"Are people ready to talk about how, after I was drafted into the WNBA, I spent almost every night of my rookie season alone, in tears? Or all of the times I've locked myself inside my house, and ghosted on the world, just crying my eyes out for hours?

"Are people ready to talk about how I was put on suicide watch in 2016?"

The 27-year-old Australian Olympian described how she had been sober for months but at the recent WNBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas it "spiraled into partying ... which spiraled into drinking ... which spiraled into exhaustion".

After an August 1 game against the LA Sparks she "completely lost it".

"I found an empty hallway outside the locker room, still in my uniform and started to panic," Cambage wrote.

"I couldn't breathe.

"I couldn't stop crying.

"I was having the most uncontrollable anxiety attack - a full-on breakdown.

"I had to call for help."

Liz Cambage at the WNBA All Star Game

Cambage sat out two recent WNBA games and was listed as "Did Not Play-Rest" but she said the accurate description was "DNP-Mental Health".

After the Sparks game she had "some difficult conversations with some people who care about me - and some conversations with myself that were long overdue".

She decided to go back on her medication.

https://twitter.com/ecambage/status/1160582670054653953

Cambage also revealed the pressures she felt following the Opals' bronze medal performance at the Olympics, how it led to her joining the Las Vegas WNBA franchise, and sparked a frightening panic attack.

"My mental health played a role in my decision on where to play this year. I couldn't make it work, in the end, in Tulsa or Dallas — in the middle of this foreign country without my support system. I remember flying back from Melbourne to Tulsa for the 2012 W season. And when we got off the plane during our layover in Sydney….. I'm not sure quite how to explain it….. but I just could not get back on. I couldn't go back," Cambage wrote.

"I'd just competed in the Olympics with the Australian national team. We won bronze, but by our standards we'd failed. I'd failed.

"I'd failed my country, and everyone who was counting on me. I was only 20. Having to then carry that with me to the WNBA, into this new season when I wasn't happy and didn't feel supported….. with anxious feelings from my first season now rushing back to me all at once….. I panicked.

"Literally — I had a panic attack on the plane."

Liz Cambage

Cambage returned to the court for the Aces on Friday and dominated with 28 points and 11 rebounds in an 87-84 win against the Chicago Sky.

She supports the NBA's new rule to have a mental health professional on the staff of every team but questioned why the WNBA did not do the same.

"We're probably not at a place yet - and we probably won't be anytime soon - where the official box score is actually going to say something like DNP-Mental Health," Cambage wrote.

"But in the meanwhile ... here's your Liz Cambage injury update:

"She was day-to-day with anxiety and depression - and she still is.

"To be honest, she probably always will be.

"And you know what?

"That's OK."

If you or anyone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Australian basketball star Liz Cambage has penned a powerful article about her day-to-day battle with anxiety and depression.

Cambage sat out some recent games with the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces and explained she wanted to tell the "truth of what's been going on with me".

The 27-year-old has battled mental health problems on and off for half of her life.

"I wanted to let everyone know that my mental health ... it got caught up in the rip last week," Cambage wrote in The Players Tribune on Sunday.

"And it wasn't pretty.

"It was actually pretty ugly.

"I know that, on the surface, people are 'ready' to talk about mental health,.

"But are they really?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoPr9ywhwFD/

"Are people really ready to talk about how, starting at around 15 years old, I would just get blackout drunk some nights? Or that I've woken up with an IV in my arm, after a weekend of partying, not being able to remember a thing? Or that my first attempt at sobriety was at 18?

"Are people ready to talk about how, after I was drafted into the WNBA, I spent almost every night of my rookie season alone, in tears? Or all of the times I've locked myself inside my house, and ghosted on the world, just crying my eyes out for hours?

"Are people ready to talk about how I was put on suicide watch in 2016?"

The 27-year-old Australian Olympian described how she had been sober for months but at the recent WNBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas it "spiraled into partying ... which spiraled into drinking ... which spiraled into exhaustion".

After an August 1 game against the LA Sparks she "completely lost it".

"I found an empty hallway outside the locker room, still in my uniform and started to panic," Cambage wrote.

"I couldn't breathe.

"I couldn't stop crying.

"I was having the most uncontrollable anxiety attack - a full-on breakdown.

"I had to call for help."

Liz Cambage at the WNBA All Star Game

Cambage sat out two recent WNBA games and was listed as "Did Not Play-Rest" but she said the accurate description was "DNP-Mental Health".

After the Sparks game she had "some difficult conversations with some people who care about me - and some conversations with myself that were long overdue".

She decided to go back on her medication.

https://twitter.com/ecambage/status/1160582670054653953

Cambage also revealed the pressures she felt following the Opals' bronze medal performance at the Olympics, how it led to her joining the Las Vegas WNBA franchise, and sparked a frightening panic attack.

"My mental health played a role in my decision on where to play this year. I couldn't make it work, in the end, in Tulsa or Dallas — in the middle of this foreign country without my support system. I remember flying back from Melbourne to Tulsa for the 2012 W season. And when we got off the plane during our layover in Sydney….. I'm not sure quite how to explain it….. but I just could not get back on. I couldn't go back," Cambage wrote.

"I'd just competed in the Olympics with the Australian national team. We won bronze, but by our standards we'd failed. I'd failed.

"I'd failed my country, and everyone who was counting on me. I was only 20. Having to then carry that with me to the WNBA, into this new season when I wasn't happy and didn't feel supported….. with anxious feelings from my first season now rushing back to me all at once….. I panicked.

"Literally — I had a panic attack on the plane."

Liz Cambage

Cambage returned to the court for the Aces on Friday and dominated with 28 points and 11 rebounds in an 87-84 win against the Chicago Sky.

She supports the NBA's new rule to have a mental health professional on the staff of every team but questioned why the WNBA did not do the same.

"We're probably not at a place yet - and we probably won't be anytime soon - where the official box score is actually going to say something like DNP-Mental Health," Cambage wrote.

"But in the meanwhile ... here's your Liz Cambage injury update:

"She was day-to-day with anxiety and depression - and she still is.

"To be honest, she probably always will be.

"And you know what?

"That's OK."

If you or anyone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

https://ift.tt/31AYwk7
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