Troubled NRL star Greg Inglis has revealed seeing a therapist up to four times a day as he continues his battle against depression.
Speaking on television for the first time since checking into a mental health clinic in May, Inglis admitted he struggled being away from his South Sydney teammates following a season-ending knee injury.
He said some of his frustrations spilled into his home life, but only opted to speak up in the week leading into the Anzac Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Despite being injured, Inglis had spent the week in camp.
“I had a lot of weight on my family with the mood I was in at home,” Inglis told Fox Sports’ Sunday Ticket.
“I decided right there and then in the week leading into the Anzac Test in Canberra that I wanted to seek help. I told a handful of people, about three people.
“It was weighing on my family at home. I wasn’t feeling right myself. I wanted to seek the help that I needed. I’m still seeking treatment now.
“We see ourselves as these fierce gladiators, men, warriors that take the field each week and then we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.”
The South Sydney skipper said he had difficulty opening up in group sessions.
“They encourage you to go to group therapy. I wasn’t a fan of that. I felt like going into a room and it felt like you were talking to the whole world. That’s how I felt,” he said.
“Some days I’d wake up, one-on-one therapy throughout the day, sometimes four times a day. That was really strong at the start in the first few days then it backed off.
“I’m a very sensitive person but I don’t show emotions very much and I don’t talk about my feelings very often. I keep things to myself. It’s one thing I’ve been working on and speaking up.”
Inglis, 30, who has been back running for three weeks, conceded he had also been scarred by near drug overdoses of two Rabbitohs teammates in 2015.
“There are these sad stories about these junior players coming through and going through the suicide path and overdosing,” Inglis said.
“We had a few players a couple of years ago in Aaron Gray and Dylan Walker which really scared me, the entire club and the rugby league community. It ain’t weak to speak.”
NRL Round 19 results
On the field, Inglis’ Rabbitohs were humbled 23-10 by a Johnathan Thurston-less North Queensland on Sunday.
The Cowboys reinforced their claim for a top-four NRL finish with a third straight win. They are in sixth spot, but equal on points with third-placed Manly.
North Queensland are now undefeated since being told of Thurston’s season-ending shoulder injury last month, a blow many thought would cruel their season.
The win was also the Cowboys’ sixth victory of the year in 10 games without Thurston, improving on their previous woeful record of 3-10 without him since the start of 2012.
While North Queensland were comfortable on Sunday, Manly were anything but against the struggling Wests Tigers.
But their come-from-behind 28-16 win was enough to keep them behind only ladder-leaders Melbourne and the Sydney Roosters after 19 rounds, with all sides having now had their two byes.
The Sea Eagles’ victory meant they leapfrogged Cronulla, who were trounced 30-10 by the Gold Coast on Saturday night.
The loss left the Sharks fifth, after Brisbane also did it the hard way in overcoming a half-time deficit to beat last-placed Newcastle and move into fourth on Saturday.
Parramatta are two points further back in seventh after their final bye, while St George Illawarra are only one win clear of the chasing pack in eighth after their golden-point loss to Canberra on Friday.
It moved the Raiders to 10th with their finals hopes still in tact, while Penrith remain ninth after knocking over the Warriors on Friday – who lost Shaun Johnson to a potentially season-ending knee injury.
Readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.