How number scale is helping Graeme Fowler's mental health battle
FORMER England cricketer Graeme Fowler has revealed the mental health scale he continues to live his life by.
The 63-year-old, who played 21 Tests for his country, has spoken openly about his own battles with depression for more than a decade.
And Fowler told RunFree how his own numerical judgement was continuing to help explain how he was feeling.
“It’s my own mental health scale,” explained Fowler.
“It’s 0 to 20 but I’ve never been one and I’ve never been 19.
“Ten is neutral but below 10 I’m not well.
“Above 10 I am well and I usually work between about three and 16.
“I’m MH 14 today.”
And the scale also helps Fowler’s friends and family.
“When I first got depression my daughters were nine, eight and two,” said Fowler.
They knew something was wrong with me but when I’m depressed I can’t think.
“I can’t speak and I can’t formulate sentences.
“I couldn’t tell them how I felt so one day I just thought I would use a number system.
“When Sarah (his wife) would get home I explained it to her and she explained it to the girls.
“We still use it now and they’re 26, 25 and 19.
“It’s done in one word and I told everyone about it when I went back to work too.
“When I would go in the morning, if I said eight or nine they would ask if I wanted a cup of tea.
“If I was 13 it would be well put the bloody kettle on then!
“It worked for them and nobody was left wondering either.
“Nobody was tip-toeing round on egg shells because I could tell them in one number how I was feeling.”
For more on Graeme’s own battle with depression, why sorting the towels can cause his family to panic and how he played his whole Test career with a broken neck listen now to our podcast.