Naomi Osaka Abandoned by the French Open, Mental Health Spotlighting


  • Naomi Osaka left the French Open and opened up about her anxiety and depression.
  • Behavior change coach and anxiety specialist Gemma Perlin told Insider that anxiety can be “debilitating.”
  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

Naomi Osaka left the French Open this year after announcing she would not hold post-match press conferences due to anxiety.

The 23-year-old was fined $ 15,000 for skipping a press conference and was threatened with expulsion from the tournament if she continued to do so.

Announcing her resignation on social media, Osaka said she has experienced bouts of depression since 2018 and receives “huge waves of anxiety” before speaking to the media, Kelly McLaughlin and Scott Davis of the Insider reported.

“I feel really nervous and I find it stressful to always commit and give the best answers I can,” wrote the current world number two tennis player. “So here in Paris I already felt vulnerable and anxious, so I thought it was best to exercise self-care and skip press conferences.”

A post shared by Naomi Osaka (@naomiosaka)

The Osaka post was greeted with an influx of support from other athletes including Serena and Venus Williams, Usain Bolt, Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens.

Social anxiety can lead to a fear of social situations

Behavioral change coach is an anxiety specialist Gemma Perlin he told Insider that the anxiety could be “debilitating.”

Social anxiety is an overwhelming fear of social situations, according to Perlin.

“It will feel like a very out-of-body experience. This is not something that can be easily controlled or that you can just sweep away,” Perlin told Insider.

For those suffering from anxiety, it can be “debilitating”.

“You may feel like you need to call an ambulance or you feel like you’re dead,” Perlin said.

A post shared by Naomi Osaka (@naomiosaka)

Some people who suffer from anxiety experience it high functioning anxiety, which is more common than many people think, according to Perlin. This type of anxiety means that someone may be successful in some areas, but other high-pressure situations act as a trigger.

“Just because you have debilitating anxiety doesn’t affect you under any circumstances,” Perlin said.

Learning not to be controlled by your triggers is the key for some anxious people, experts say

For most people, it is important to learn how to manage your triggers.

“We work with a lot of people with anxiety and panic attacks, and we’re gradually starting to expose them to their factors that don’t feel like they are being controlled by anxiety,” Perlin said.

The first step to overcoming high-functioning anxiety is to accept that you have it, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong, former executive coach Cherlyn Chong said earlier. Insider’s Lindsay Dodgson.

It’s perfectly possible to overcome your factors, according to Perlin, but you have to work with a professional therapist to do it.


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