Admitting that he was in denial about having mental health problems, former England spinner Monty Panesar has said that people should talk about their mental health with friends and family - something that helped him overcome.
"Don't isolate yourself. Isolation is the breeding ground for mental health issues. Try and speak to people about it. Speak to your family and friends. Talking is the best thing," Panesar told Amit Roy in an exclusive interview to Eastern Eye.
The 37-year-old played 50 Test matches for England and scalped 167 wickets in his seven-year-long career. In 26 ODIs, he picked 24 wickets with the best figure of 3/25. But due to his personal issues, he lost his spot in the England team and even denied by the county clubs, the report states.
In the interaction with Roy, Panesar said he was in denial about his mental health and his family and friends advised him to seek doctors help.
"I was in denial. I was like, 'Oh, everything is fine with me.' It is family and friends who said in a gentle way, 'Maybe you should just make an appointment,'" Eastern Eye quoted Panesar as saying.
After that, Panesar sought medical help and is now also thought of reviving his cricketing career.
"We are so busy with work. (But) I think what's really important is having healthy friends and family relationships," Panesar said.
During his cricketing days, Panesar had a memorable debut when he scalped the precious wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, as his first Test wicket in his first match debut against India in Nagpur in 2006.
Later on, Panesar went on to become a vital member of England's Test squad.
Panesar's last match was against Australia in the 2013-14 Ashes and since then he has not announced his retirement from any format of the cricket.
( With inputs from ANI )