Former Great Britain and St Helens star Sean Long has revealed he tried to take his own life in January of this year.
The 37-year-old has been fighting a two-and-a-half year battle with depression and it culminated in a suicide attempt involving a medication overdose and a plan to start his car in his garage then inhale the fumes. The former London Broncos assistant coach was sectioned soon after then released when his mother and brother agreed to take care of him. Lomg also credits former team-mates Martin Gleeson and Keiron Cunningham for helping stabilise him.
“I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time,” he said.
“I’m wide awake and alert again. I think it’s just been nipped in the bud,” he told the Sunday People.
“Any longer and I’d have gone under. I was off the scale but they helped bring me back down. It’s a big thing, depression – it gets hold of you. I’m glad I’m out the other side.”
The three-time Lance Todd trophy winner blames being forced to retire from Rugby League through injury as the cause of his low mood.
“I didn’t finish playing on my terms really. It was the injuries,” he said.
“I didn’t know at the time but I’ve had depression and suffered from anxiety over two-and-a-half years.
“I didn’t know what depression was. It’s not something men talk about. I just felt a little bit weird, a little bit different. I had family problems as well.
“I just felt like I’d had enough. I didn’t know I was ill. It was a cry for help. I needed help. This illness is killing loads of people.
“It’s only now that I’m learning to speak to people about what I was going through that I realise a lot of people have been in this situation before.
“I tried to take an overdose then I was going to go into the garage and try to start the car with the door down. That’s all I could get in my head. Next day I couldn’t remember any of it. I found out later who helped me.”