Netball star Caitlin Thwaites has opened up about her battle with depression describing her diagnosis as a "huge relief".
The 2014 Glasgow commonwealth games gold medallist said she was initially unaware she was suffering from depression and anxiety, which would often leave her hyperventilating and uncontrollably shaking.
"When I did finally get that diagnosis it was a huge relief because it had a name and there was a prognosis," the Collingwood shooter said on Nine's In Her Court podcast.
"There were specific things that I could then do to help myself."
The former Vixen reached her lowest point at the age of 21 but said netball was the one thing that would get her out of bed.
"The reason behind that was because it was the only place where I felt like I was going to be missed," she said.
"For me to know there were people out there relying on me was actually a huge motivating factor for me."
Thwaites arrived at Collingwood after a stint at the NSW Swifts where she shot 537 goals at 88.8 per cent in 2016.
With the best accuracy rate in the entire league, Thwaites said she ignored medical advice to temporarily step away from the sport and chose to speak up and manage a recovery.
"I think netball and sport for me has always been a place where I can almost have a bit of self worth from my ability on the sports field and so that has been really amazing."
"It doesn't actually matter what is going on in my life elsewhere, it is almost like you can put on a uniform and be someone else for a little while."
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Samaritans 0800 726 666
• If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.