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Naomi Osaka discusses her struggle with mental illness

Osaka withdrew from her second-round match at the Toray Pan Pacific Open due to an abdominal illness.

Naomi Osaka in a file photo. (Image credits: AFP)
By Mahaksh Chauhan | Dec 7, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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When discussing her battle with mental health issues, Naomi Osaka said that she believed it was acceptable for people to be frail and experience mental struggles. The former World No. 1 has struggled with anxiety and despair for a very long time. Due to the same, she was forced to withdraw from multiple events. She has, however, been receiving a lot of support from the general public and athletes for speaking out about the issue. In a recent appearance on The Late Show, Naomi Osaka discussed her experience thus far and how one should approach mental health issues cautiously rather than in a panic. The 25-year-old claimed that she had been instructed to “work through the problems,” which she at first thought was a valuable lesson but later understood that it should be “confronted and fixed” before continuing the journey.

I think for me, I’ve just always been taught to kind of like stick it out or like work through it and I think that’s a very valuable lesson because it has gotten me through a lot of things in life. But there was just a point where I thought to myself like ‘why?’, you know! And not in a negative way,” she conveyed. If I am feeling this way, why would I keep pushing through it, when I can kind of confront it and fix it and then continue on my journey,” she added.

Feeling supported by athletes

The encouragement she received from Olympians who took part in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics left Naomi Osaka feeling overjoyed. The Japanese athlete watched the Olympics that were held in her country two years ago. The 25-year-old received numerous words of support and encouragement, which made her feel appreciative and bolstered.

Actually, after that whole thing happened, I kind of curled up in my house for a while. But then, when I went to the Olympics, so many athletes approached me. I was shocked and honoured because these are people I watch on TV and admire. I felt incredibly grateful and supported, she said in her interview on The Late Show. In front of her home crowd, Osaka withdrew from her second-round match at the Toray Pan Pacific Open due to an abdominal illness.



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