South Sydney premiership winner Greg Inglis has revealed that his battle with Bipolar II was the catalyst for his retirement from the professional game in April last year.
After succeeding at every level of rugby league since his debut for the Melbourne Storm in 2005, Inglis made the announcement stating he had lost his love of the game. Many thought he was quitting due to several injuries suffered over the course of his career.
Inglis last laced up the boots for Macksville based team, Wall Street Warriors, in last year’s Koori Knockout in October, but the team was defeated in the opening round.
Speaking with Channel 9 on Wednesday, Inglis said that he felt like he was “failing” himself and not living up to his own standards of playing when he chose to leave the NRL.
“Things came over me and I felt like I just couldn’t live up to the expectations any more, and that wasn’t the expectations of anyone else, I felt like I was failing myself,” he said.
“It’s the battle within yourself, within your head.
"Going to rehab for the second time, which I am not ashamed of saying, and getting the right diagnosis for it, and talking about how I feel, and what’s going on in my head. It helps the people around me.”
Inglis entered a rehabilitation centre a month after his retirement to deal with his mental wellbeing. He now takes daily medication to help manage the disorder.
The 33-year-old, who amassed an incredible rugby league resume during his NRL club career with Melbourne and Souths, and at representative level with Queensland, Australia and the Indigenous All Stars, will now join a star-studded Warrington Wolves team on a one-year deal.
He said he won’t be going over to make up the numbers.
“I’m not going over there on a holiday, that’s for sure. If there is one thing that I like doing, it’s proving people wrong,” he told Channel 9.
“Now I’ve got that drive, I’ve got that mentality back in my head that I can deliver.”
His former Souths and Maroons teammate Dane Gagai has backed the champion back's return, saying he doesn't think 'G.I' would have signed the contract if he didn't believe he could produce his best.
"He's one of the most professional trainers, he works hard and you forget his (young) age because he's been playing in the NRL for so long," he said.
"I just don't think his body got a chance to really have a break he was always working hard and performing at an elite level. I think this time off has given him time to heal all those niggling injuries ... I don't think he would have signed if he didn't think he would perform."
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or reach out to your local Aboriginal Medical Service.
-Jodan Perry is the host of NITV's flagship Rugby League program 'Over The Black Dot' which airs every Tuesday night 8.30pm.