Karen Carney has said 'it's ok not to be ok' as she opens up about battle with depression

Karen Carney retired after the 2019 Women's World Cup (PA Images)
Karen Carney retired after the 2019 Women's World Cup (PA Images)
14:28pm, Tue 22 Oct 2019
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Former England and Chelsea winger Karen Carney has spoken about her battle with depression, saying 'It's ok not to be ok'.

The 32-year-old retired from the sport following England's third-place play-off defeat to Sweden at the 2019 World Cup.

Speaking at a Coutts charity event, the Lioness legend, who was capped 144 times by her country, spoke out about the pressures you can be under while you are playing.

She said: “I’ve gone on the record and said I’ve suffered with depression – quite bad, destructive behaviours. I was really fortunate that I was able to get the right help at the right time.

“You wouldn’t wish it on anyone, an athlete or non-athlete. It’s the worst thing in the world. I got help, got better and thought I need to speak about it. I need to get it off my chest for myself, but also, I might help someone else.

“For me, it’s ok not to be ok.”

Carney's former manager Phil Neville also spoke about the issue, saying that in his playing days he would've been told to 'just get on with it'.

Neville said: “Ten years ago it was maybe seen as a weakness to admit that you were struggling, that you were nervous, that you had anxiety. 

"The amount of pressure and expectation on top-class athletes nowadays is incredible. In my day it was ‘just get on with it’, but I don’t think that’s the right way to deal with it.

“Today, we’ve got role models admitting that they suffer from mental illness, that it’s OK to suffer from mental illness and that you can recover from mental illness.”

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