Dealing with depression is hard for the whole family

English Cricketer Jonathan Trott is one of the latest sportspeople to take a break from his game to seek treatment for depression.


Regarding his departure from cricket Trott, 32, said: “I don’t feel it is right that I’m playing knowing that I’m not 100 per cent and I cannot currently operate at the level I have done in the past. My priority now is to take a break from cricket so that I can focus on my recovery,” as reported by The Telegraph. Meanwhile Andy Flower, England’s team director, said: “Trotty has been suffering from a stress-related condition for quite a while … he needs time away from this environment; he needs time with his family.”


Trott’s story echoes the experiences of Marcus Trescothick, who retired from cricket in 2006 due to stress, and Michael Yardy, who left the game because of depression during the 2011 World Cup, as well as those of Graeme Fowler, who was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2004. In the wake of Trott’s departure from the game his family, with his permission spoke out in The Telegraph about the difficulties of living with someone with depression, which all too often go overlooked.


Supporting someone with depression or other mental health difficulties can be a strain on the whole family. But while the person suffering from the illness may be getting the help and support they need other people who are affected by the situation, especially those who are taking a key role in caring for their loved one, may feel unsupported at a time when they too need support, care and an outlet to help them manage the added strains and demands on them, as it can feel incredibly isolating to care for someone who has depression, especially if this is the person you would usually turn to in times of difficulty. Indeed this was the experience of Graeme Fowler’s wife, Sarah: “I didn’t have a husband to bounce things off. If there was an issue at school, or someone was being picked on or having trouble, normally we would talk about it after everyone had gone to bed. But that wasn’t available because he wasn’t mentally there. And that left me feeling alone. I was a bit more snappy with the kids, trying to be both Mum and Dad.”


At The Grove we understand that those who are caring for someone with mental health difficulties often need support as much as the person who has the illness themselves. It is tough and draining to be supporting someone through this difficult time, especially if you are trying to manage other commitments such as work, a family, and running the household as well. Sometimes just having someone to talk to and share the burden with, who is outside of the immediate family situation, can help make everything at home feel more manageable.


If you are stressed and feeling overwhelmed with caring for someone with depression or other mental health difficulties let’s talk. We will provide a space where you can share your difficulties with someone who is ready to listen, and we will work with you to see what we can do to help manage your time so that you can create a bit of space and a break for yourself as well.