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Dele Alli opens up on mental health problems, pill addiction

Dele Alli opens up on mental health problems, pill addiction

Dele Alli has opened up on his sleeping pill addiction that saw him recently sign himself into rehab, amid mental health problems.

It has been a galling few years for Alli who at one point was one of the best young players on the planet, scoring 18 goals in a Premier League campaign at the age of 20.

After a good spell under Mauricio Pochettino things started unravelling for the midfielder after the Argentine was replaced by Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur, with the new manager considering the player to be ‘lazy.’

His start at Everton wasn’t great but he did show hints that he could return to be the player who had dazzled in the white of Spurs previously.

However his time on Merseyside didn’t do enough to convince the club to continue playing him last season and he went on loan to Besiktas.

Life in Turkey didn’t turn out well for the former MK Dons star either and he was accused of going ‘missing’ by his manager in Istanbul.

He has returned to Goodison Park this summer to try and win his place back, after undergoing treatment on his hip for an injury.

Now Alli has been opening up on the mental health issues he’s faced and revealed that he became addicted to sleeping pills and took himself to rehab.

“I got addicted to sleeping tablets, it’s a problem not only I have. It’s going around more than people realise in football,” he told Gary Neville’s The Overlap.

“Now is probably the right time to tell people. It’s tough to talk about it as it’s quite recent and something I’ve hid for a long time and I’m scared to talk about.

“When I came back from Turkey I came back and found out I needed an operation.

“I was in a bad place mentally. I decided to go to a modern rehab facility that deals with addiction and mental health and trauma. I felt it was time for me.

“You can’t be told to go there, you have to make the decision yourself.

“I was in a bad cycle. I was relying on things that were doing me harm. I was waking up every day, winning the fight going into training every day smiling – willing to show I was happy.

“Inside I was losing the battle and it was time to change. When I was told I needed surgery I could feel the feelings I had when the cycle began.

“So I went there for six weeks. Everton were amazing and supported. I will be grateful to them for ever. For them to be so honest and understanding I couldn’t ask for anything more during a time I was making the biggest decision of my life – doing something I was scared to do. I’m happy I’ve done it.

“There is a stigma around it and it’s something people don’t want to do. Going into rehab is scary but I could never have imagined how much I would get from it.

“I was in a bad place. A lot happened to me when I was younger that I couldn’t understand and I was doing stupid things that I blame myself for.

“Going there and learning about it, it was never really under my control.

“Understanding learning it has helped. I let go of some bad feelings I was holding which was slowing me down.”


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