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Footballer Hajra Khan speaks up about her mental health struggle

Pakistan’s women football team captain shared her mental health story, actress Mahira Khan commended her for being brave enough to speak about it. 

Taking to Twitter, Hajra shared in a video message that she has been facing mental health issues since the past few years.

“I knew something was off, I wasn’t speaking up about it. I didn’t get any help, I didn’t wanna come across as weak or feel like an outcast because being weak is an anti-thesis of what an athlete is supposed to be,” she said.

She added “But as I read through, I learned that about 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and I wasn’t ready to lose my life to an illness.”

Speaking about her own experience, she said “About three years ago, I experienced my first ever anxiety attack after a practice session with a national team and that’s when I finally decided to get help. I was clinically diagnosed with high-functioning anxiety and clinical depression and have been undergoing treatment ever since. Getting better everyday.”

The athelete highlighted the stigma around mental health and made an important point about how it should be treated.

“Almost exactly like our physical health, mental health requires hard work, repair and maintenance so it’s okay to feel unstable, it’s okay to disassociate, it’s okay to need help and it’s okay to not be okay. Your mental health is not a personal failure, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Responding to her story, the Raees star said Few of us are as strong as you @hajrakn [Hajra Khan] thank you for sharing..”

Hajra is an ambassador for British Asian Trust, which aims to transform people’s lives.

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