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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.

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