Keith Earls has opened up on his mental health struggles, revealing that he was diagnosed as bipolar in 2013.
The Munster and Ireland winger has had many great days for club and country over the years, but Earls has revealed that he has often struggled with mental health issues throughout his life.
The 34-year-old was speaking on RTE’s The Late Late Show about his life and the release of his autobiography ‘Fight Or Flight: My Life, My Choices’ and revealed that he ‘didn’t know who he was’ before he was diagnosed.
Keith Earls on his bipolar diagnosis.
“I was in camp in 2013. I am in Irish camp, Joe Schmidt is just taking over the Irish team. I should be on cloud nine,” Earls said.
“My daughter, Ella Maye, my first girl, was born in 2012 and she was born with a respiratory condition, and you know my emotions were everywhere. My paranoia was through the roof. My negative thinking, it was shocking, and you know I was so sick of it. It was absolutely draining me.
“So, here I am in Carton House, in Irish camp and I just decided I need to do something about this. So, I rang the doctor… I explained everything to him, he was brilliant.
“I went down to see a guy in Cork, a psychiatrist, and he diagnosed me with bipolar II. There is obviously bipolar I as well, but bipolar II is probably the better out of the two to get. I was delighted to get the diagnosis; I was genuinely losing my mind.”
“Thankfully the last couple of years I’ve got a great hold on it”@KeithEarls87 shares his story of being diagnosed with Bipolar 2, the negative voice in his head he calls ‘Hank’, and how he reached out and asked for help.#LateLate pic.twitter.com/2E4VcAW9Lr
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) October 15, 2021
‘I have got a great hold on it. I have found my identity.’
After suffering for years without understanding the root of his issues, Earls has urged people to seek professional help when they are struggling.
“Thankfully over the last couple of years, I have got a great hold on it. I have found my identity. Which I think was part of the problem as well. I didn’t know who I was, and I was always trying to be other people,” Earls revealed.
“I didn’t know when I was Keith, I didn’t know when I was Hank (the name he gives to his depressive side). And thankfully I can tell the difference now.
“I wanted to tell my story because…if I can help anyone, even it was in the general public, any one of my team-mates to talk to someone before it gets too late. I think that’s what saved me, stepping up and not being embarrassed and speaking to someone and telling someone that I was struggling.”