While Sharni Layton is renowned as one of Australia’s most loved and decorated netball players, it’s her off-court candidness about mental health that has won her a world of new fans.
In the first episode of our new podcast WH Uninterrupted, powered by Samsung, the recently retired defender opened up about the "mental health injury" that saw her take a six-month break from the game in 2017 and the practices that better her well being each and every day.
“I got myself to a point where I’d pushed myself so hard for so long, I’d moved 12 times in 10 years I’d moved interstate four times, pushed myself to the absolute limit trying to get the most out of myself as an athlete and I just couldn’t push anymore,” Sharni says. “The breaking point which I knew was the problem, the first time I was driving to try a dress on and I was absolutely bawling for no apparent reason… The next bit was that my best friend called me and I threw my phone against the wall so I was like I’m not ok.”
Sharni says it was a difficult decision but she’s so grateful for everything she learned during the depressive episode and the opportunity she has to speak openly about it now.
"It was so important for me to talk about it because when I was going through it before I asked for help, I thought there was something wrong with me I couldn't have sat here and had a conversation with you Jacqui because my mind would go blank, I couldn't connect memories, I was really forgetful, I started getting social anxiety, which for a really social person that was really scary. I didn't want to train, I had no motivation, I just thought that was the person I'd become and I was like 'oh gosh this is who I am now'."
"For anyone else who is going through this go seek help, it's ok, don't let yourself get to this really dark spot..."
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