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‘Where do I get these opioids?’ – Henriques reveals dark thoughts during depression

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Moises Henriques, the Australia all-rounder, has revealed details of his battle with depression, recounting one incident where he went to the extent of considering opioids to “numb my brain”.

Henriques, in 2017, was diagnosed with clinical depression, and has since been among the foremost figures in Australia to raise awareness about mental health in the sport. The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Nicole Bolton and Nic Maddinson, among other cricketers, have followed him in making public their struggles with mental health.

Henriques struggled to leave his home, at one point, and didn’t want to engage with anyone apart from his wife Krista. “I remember lying in bed wanting to [self-medicate] for a long time, and considering all the different types of drugs that would be possible,” Henriques said in the Ordineroli Speaking podcast. “At this stage, I was like ‘who would I call’?

“I wasn’t even thinking of recreational or party drugs. I was thinking, ‘where do I get these opioids’ and these things that are going to numb my brain to a point of not thinking where I am, not capable of thought.”

Cricket wasn’t providing relief – it was a source of anxiety, even – and Henriques remembers contemplating crashing his car on the highway, on the drive back from a Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania.

“I remember thinking to myself in the car, ‘I’m doing 110 on the highway, if I just turn this car into here, into the pillar or somewhere …’

“‘If I just ran straight into this pole what would happen? What would the consequence of what would happen there?’ I can’t do that, it’s not fair on my brothers, it’s not fair on Krista, it’s not fair on all these people that are there for me, I can’t leave my team with 10 men for the next two days.

“I ended up having to pull over because I was crying so heavily, and I was shaking. I had to pull over, just took five minutes.”

The recovery for Henriques came with therapy, learning about different cultures and their core values, and a shift in personal beliefs. “I can only be a good father if I’m present,” he said. “I can’t be a good father on the back of just being a good cricketer, that means absolutely nothing.

“I had to completely change my values, change my beliefs as to what I thought success was and what I wanted to prioritise.”

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