Steven Caulker has spoken out about how he wound up in rehab after his mental health deteriorated due to drinking and gambling addiction.
In a revealing and eye-opening interview with the Daily Mail, the 29-year-old has revealed how he made the decision to go to rehab.
He said: “I was really low. The cycle of gambling, drinking and self-loathing was supposed to numb the pain, but it only made things worse. At the time, I thought I was at rock bottom. I was wrong.
“After a couple of months, I knocked on Jurgen Klopp’s door and said, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough – what do I need to do to improve? He gave me some suggestions for the gym, but I was mostly playing for the under-23s and that rejection was difficult to handle.
“In a dark place, I didn’t feel like I could train and fulfil my duties – so I decided it was time for rehab. That was extremely hard, because I’d been given such a massive opportunity at Liverpool.”
Caulker was the second signing Liverpool made under Jurgen Klopp after Marko Grujic was bought by the Reds. He was signed on loan as an emergency centre-back signing but made very few appearances and has now made the brave decision to reveal how things went so wrong at Liverpool.
Since coming out of rehab, the former Liverpool player moved to Turkey and is now enjoying a good spell with Alanyaspor. His story has had a good ending but there are many footballers and professional athletes out there that suffer from depression and anxiety and in many ways, it’s something that connects them with those that watch them on television.
They’re normal people at the end of the day. If it wasn’t for their talent and athleticism, they’d be in the same position as you and I. I really respect Caulker’s decision to give an interview to the Daily Mail as depression and alcoholism aren’t easy to talk about especially if it comes from a place of self-loathing as he noted.
For those that struggle with depression, please talk to someone. Things can only improve if you seek help and there’s always someone there to talk to. Message me on Twitter if you ever need someone to chat to – @MikeMongie.