Scotland

Athlete Yvonne Murray talks about depression and anxiety

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Media captionYvonne Murray: "I don't go out on my own. I find that quite traumatic."

Athlete Yvonne Murray has spoken for the first time about how depression and anxiety nearly ended her life.

The Olympic medallist told BBC Scotland's The Nine that she would not be alive without the support she received from mental health services and her family.

"I had a bit of a breakdown and ended up in hospital. I had severe depression and anxiety," she said.

"If it wasn't for my husband and my daughter and my family I wouldn't be here today.

"It's an ongoing process, it's day by day, but I'm slowly but surely getting better."

Image caption She was one of Scotland's most successful athletes

Yvonne Murray was a golden girl of UK athletics during the 1980s and 1990s, winning an Olympic bronze, Commonwealth gold and European and World titles.

In her first interview in 10 years, she said that although her health is improving, she doesn't leave home without her husband, fellow athlete Tom Mooney.

She also believes walking, baking and gardening are helping her recovery.

She added: "I don't go out on my own. I find that quite traumatic. When you suffer from depression and anxiety the last thing you want to do is go round a supermarket or a shop.

"The lovely thing is that people are saying 'how are you, we haven't seen you for ages, how are things going?'

"I am slowly getting better. It's going to take time but I've got great support around me."

Her decision to speak out has been praised by mental health charity, Lifelines Scotland.

It tweeted: "Yvonne demonstrating Olympian courage and tenacity as she shares her experience of recovering from anxiety and depression."

Liz McColgan, who competed alongside Yvonne Murray, said she was "an amazing lady and athlete".

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