Freddie Flintoff has spoken openly about his wife's reaction to his depression diagnosis during a frank conversation in the I'm A Celebrity jungle. The 37-year-old star, who is taking part in the Australian version of the show, was asked by fellow campmates whether he had ever attended therapy.
"I still do for depression," he said, before going on to speak about mum-of-three Rachel's initial response.
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Freddie Flintoff has said his wife was 'relieved' by his depression diagnosis
"I think in some ways she was quite relieved," former England cricketer Freddie admitted. "I think it's because she saw me as vulnerable as well.
"I spent a lot of time putting up a barrier playing sport and you tend to play up to that character all of the time, and in the end it got exhausting. I couldn't do it any longer."
He continued, "Even a year ago I wouldn't be able to do this, I wouldn't just be able to be on my own and just be happy."
During his time on the reality show Freddie has spoken very candidly about his battle with depression – and revealed it prompted him to cut out alcohol.
"One, I genuinely thought I'd had enough of it," he said. "And two, I suffer with depression and it doesn't help at all. I just hit rock bottom afterwards. So you're far better without it."
Freddie came out of retirement in 2014, and now plays for Brisbane Heat
The realisation he had depression hit Freddie while he was making his 2012 documentary The Hidden Side of Sport, which featured boxer Ricky Hatton, Vinnie Jones, and snooker player Graham Dott opening up their depression and the effect it had on their careers.
"I never knew what it was and I've always never said anything. And then speaking to other people I identified with how I felt, and I could sort it out, treat it," he revealed.
"I don't think there was one moment (I realised I had depression)," he admitted. "It was when I spoke to people, you'd feel their experiences and how they felt. And I'd say, 'That's exactly how I felt or can feel.'
"You know when you feel a little bit down, you physically can't get up. Or you can't get off your bed. It's hard to explain, you have the weight of the world on your shoulders – fear, guilt, all sorts – for no apparent reason."
He concluded, "I see it now like, if I have a bad ear, I'll see a doctor. If I get an injury, I'll see a physio. If I'm struggling with my head, I'll see someone."