Andrew Flintoff: Mental health issues should not be called 'a stigma'

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Andrew Flintoff on why the word 'stigma' should not be associated with mental health.

Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff says the word "stigma" should not be used when discussing mental health issues.

Flintoff has suffered from depression and spoke about the subject as part of BBC Radio 5 Live's Mental Health Week.

"I know it [stigma] is a buzz-word at the minute and people say about 'breaking down the stigma'," said the 39-year-old ex-Lancashire player.

"I hear it all the time and for me it's a word that shouldn't be used."

On the international stage, Flintoff played in 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven Twenty20 internationals between 1998 and 2009.

He also played a key part in two Ashes series wins in 2005 and 2009 as well as being voting BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2005.

"I'm on medication," added Flintoff, who takes anti-depressants.

"If I was playing cricket and I had a bad leg, I'd take an anti-inflammatory. If I had a headache, I'd have an aspirin or a paracetamol.

"My head's no different. If there's something wrong with me, I'm taking something to help that.

"And they're not happy pills, I don't take a pill and I'm seeing unicorns and rainbows - I just start feeling normal after a few weeks."

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