Arsenal footballer Emma Mitchell speaks about her own personal battle on eve of World Mental Health Day

Emma Mitchell didn't celebrate Arsenal's WSL win last season (PA Images)
15:20pm, Wed 09 Oct 2019
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Arsenal defender Emma Mitchell has spoken out about 'the most difficult year of my life'.

While her team-mates were celebrating their Women's Super League win in April, Mitchell was crying in the shower.

Mitchell chose to share her feelings on the eve of World Mental Health Day tomorrow.

She said: "The last year has probably been one of the most difficult years in my life. We won the league but, behind that, I've had to face a lot of personal troubles.

"When we won the title and everybody was delighted, I didn't even want to celebrate. I felt terrible."

Mitchell wants to help others and let people know that 'it is okay not to be okay'.

The 27-year-old recalled when she first felt something wasn't right.

Speaking to BBC Sport, she said: "I never actually realised how I was feeling until a strange situation in training one day when I got hit in the face and I broke down, just off somebody hitting me in the face a tiny little bit.

"I went off to the side and I was like 'I am really not OK'.

Mitchell took some time away from football (PA Images)

"For my whole career [training] was something I've loved to do, it was like a hobby, but at that time I genuinely felt like it was really daunting." 

"I was really low, in a way that I just didn't want to socialise with anybody. I'd want to spend all day in my bed. There was family stuff that I'd never actually dealt with and it all got a bit too much.

"It was like I had a constant pressure on my chest, like somebody was standing on top of me. The experience of having family issues made me realise that I needed help.

"I went to Joe [Montemurro, Arsenal's manager] after that training session and said 'I need help'. I got to speak to a psychologist the next day and I was able to just talk, starting the process of feeling better again."

Mitchell spent some time away from football. She returned home to Scotland from February 7 to April 21 this year before returning to train for The Gunners.

"I got the train back home. By this point it already felt so much lighter, like somebody just got off my shoulders. I think I slept so much for the first three days. I had been physically and emotionally drained.

"[When] I came back, the club allowed me to do whatever I wanted until I felt comfortable to say, 'OK, I'm ready to go back in training'. They really helped support me."