Sergio Ruiz, a 27-year-old footballer, had to ask UD Las Palmas to stop playing overnight. The reason: after returning from an injury, he suffered a picture of anxiety that prevented him from dedicating himself to football normally. Ruiz, who had to leave the club to return to Santander and recover, tells in El Larguero how he has lived it.
What have the doctors told you?
“Thanks to asking for help they have told me that it is something normal, that it is punctual and that it is possible to get out. It started a few months ago, five or six. I was not feeling well, that I was tired. I had a strange feeling, it was not me and I was very worried. The uncertainty of not knowing what is happening worries you. I felt bad because I did not know what was happening. ”
Didn’t you feel like playing soccer?
“More than not feeling like it, I was nervous and always worried: every day a lot of tension, not feeling well physically. It was a strange feeling. The reality is that I spent 10 days quite well, I was not feeling well at all. I needed help.”
“It was in the summer and I caught Covid. My wife got pregnant and I was worried, I was not feeling well physically … They have been circumstances that have become more complicated. I had to ask for help because I did not feel well.”
Who did you ask for help?
“I spoke with the doctors at the club and told them that I was not feeling well. That it was not something physical. Speaking with the doctors and the psychologist they told me that I have a generalized anxiety disorder.”
When did you decide to stop playing?
“When I was injured against Ibiza, it had already been a little worse for a month. When I started again after the injury, I saw that I did not feel strong. We spoke with the club and asked for help.”
Did they give you facilities from UD Las Palmas?
“I want to thank Las Palmas, they behaved phenomenally with me. From the first moment we gave it normality, as if it were an injury. They have always given me their support and tranquility. For that part I have felt calm.”
What have you done since then?
“Being at home, having the peace of mind that my wife, who is pregnant, was well at home. Working with the psychologist. Be careful with my diet and follow all the exercises and tools that they have given me to overcome this.”
What psychologist have you worked with: one from the club or one of your own?
“It’s a personal one and I still work with him. One of the things that worried me was the paperwork to go back to the US, not knowing when he was going to come back …”.
Why do you think soccer players, or in sport, is something taboo?
“The stereotype of the professional soccer player is that person who does well economically, has no problems … And showing that vulnerability to the player himself can affect him. But in the end it is a super normal thing. Each of us has our day-to-day battles and problems. Why shouldn’t I have it? It’s a disease that you have to know how to overcome. It’s like an injury. ”
How has the relationship with your colleagues been?
“At all times they have worried about me and how I was”.
What would you say to people who are going through the same thing?
“The most important thing is to ask for help. Many times you don’t know what is happening to you, they do tests and” you’re fine “. That first part of saying ‘I don’t know what’s wrong, help me’ and giving it normalcy. People don’t talk about this , but after what has happened to me I have received many messages saying that they have taken a long time to realize it. ”