Elise Christie opens up about mental health and self harm
Last Updated: 15/05/19 8:27pm
Great Britain's Elise Christie opened up about her battles with self harm, and says mental health problems need to be "easier to speak about".
Christie recently made a social media post highlighting her mental-health struggles in which she said she used to carry around items with which to self harm.
The Great Britan speed skater says she has managed to move on from those days, but that it took time and a particularly "bad moment".
"I had about, I would say four years where I didn't feel like myself at all," said Christie. "I had about two years on the medication, and I think I had my turning point in December.
"I'd been self-harming for about a year and I had a really bad moment - that's the only bit I'm not that open about yet - but after that I decided that I needed to turn this around, that this wasn't OK any more."
Christie posted on Instagram last month that she has stopped taking anti-depressants, a decision she feels has come at the right time.
"There was a lot of people helping me, but I don't think anyone really wanted me to come off the medication.
"That was a personal choice and something I felt ready to do. I don't think it's a problem to be on medication, there's nothing wrong with it and if you need it, you need it. But I felt like I didn't need it any more and that's why I made that choice."
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So this post might come as a surprise to many, but as a huge supporter in raising awareness of mental health, especially in sport and supporting the forward movement of being able to talk more openly, there’s something I feel that’s important to share. During the time I was on medication for two years I felt I couldn’t openly speak about it, I suffered for two years with depression and anxiety, it prevented me being myself and unfortunately I ended up on anti-depressants. I’m now really proud to say that I’ve officially managed to get myself off anti-depressants and become more myself again! It’s been amazing to feel happiness and sadness again, to not feel nothing.... there’s a huge list of people I’m owe thanks to, especially during my toughest hours when I hid away from the world and locked everyone out... so many people that loved me and were there through it all! So a massive thank you to everyone that stood by me, and to those that didn’t you now don’t deserve me at my best ! Let’s beat depression together ❤️ #mentalhealthawareness #depression #anxiety #mentaltoughness
The 28-year-old says she wasn't comfortable talking about her battles while on medication, and that more needs to be done to help bring mental health issues to light.
"I do think it's very sad that, thinking about it now, that I took until that point to come out about it and be honest about it.
"It should be more spoken about, it should be easier to talk about, and I think the people going through it know that it's so difficult to talk about.
"You feel weak, you feel like you're admitting to being weak almost, and that isn't what it is at all; it's actual chemical reactions, it's hormones not doing the things they're supposed to do.
"So it's isn't weak at all, it's just where you are in your life at that point."