Scots speed skating champion breaks from social media to improve mental health – HeraldScotland

Posted: January 3, 2020 at 9:45 am

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

FORMER world champion speed skater Elise Christie has said she will quit social media in order to combat what she described as her continuing "poor mental health".

The 29-year-old who endured a series of misfortunes at the 2018 Winter Olympics, described the extent of her illness in a series of posts on social media.

She wrote: "I've decided that I'm going to take a break from social media for a while, I'm really not happy with who I am at the moment, and my poor mental health is getting the best of me and affecting my behaviours.

"I want to be better than this and I want to come back a better person, and make amends with anyone I've upset. I need to find myself again and be myself again."

In May, in an address to a Mental Health in Scottish Sport conference she spoke of her battles with anxiety, depression and self-harm which she feels wasted two years of her life.

A month or so on from going cold turkey on the anti-depressants which she used over a two-year period to cope with a turbulent personal and professional period, Ms Christie even provided photographic evidence of her struggles in the form of a tweet with a picture of her scarred wrist at the height of her self-harming. But even that wasnt enough for the trolls.

Someone replied saying it was a fake picture, Ms Christie said. Before, something like that would have made me really angry and upset, but they just make me laugh now. I probably use social media even more now than I have the last two years but I am back to being me again, I have my sense of humour and perspective about things back.

Ms Christie has won three world titles memorably becoming the first non-Asian woman in 23 years to win the overall title in 2017 and 10 European titles.

But at Sochi and then Pyeong-chang, Winter Olympic glory eluded her in the most dramatic of circumstances.

She revealed in 2014 how she had received death threats from South Korean fans following her collision with Park Seung-hi at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

She subsequently announced that she had taken anti-depressants for two years, and in an interview said she had resorted to self-harm.

In the same interview, she added: "Some people feel weak to admit it. But depression is an illness, not just sadness, and I want people to think it is OK to speak about it."

Christie, who effectively trains alone after the break-up of the Great Britain short-track programme in the wake of the disappointment in Pyeongchang, remains committed to targeting the Beijing 2022 Games.

Christie added: "I'll be taking time to focus on skating, my relationship with the boy I love, my friends who are so important to me and my family who are my biggest supporters!

"I'm not sure how I spiralled so far away from my true self last year, but I'm having some time out to figure it out and get happier again!"

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Scots speed skating champion breaks from social media to improve mental health - HeraldScotland

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