FORMER leading south-west horse trainer John Sadler has spoken candidly about his struggle with depression.
The Terang-born Sadler, who has been one of Australia’s most successful and respected trainers, told Melbourne radio station Racing Sports National he had endured a “tough battle to deal with the insidious disease”.
“I’m no expert on this problem,” Sadler said.
“I can only speak about my ordeal. I first had depression four years ago but at the start I was not sure what was wrong with me.
“I was doing things at a hundred miles an hour and then I collapsed. I never wanted to get out of bed.
“It took six months to sort out the problems back then.
“I got on to medication which sorted out the issues but then I got off it late last year. I went downhill after I got off the medication.
“Little hurdles were turning into big mountains which I could not climb. My world collapsed around me again earlier this year.
“It took a fair while to get my medication right. I’ve been back on track for a while now.” The multiple group 1-winning trainer, who has trained successfully overseas, said depression was an “unpopular” illness in the community.
“A lot of people just don’t understand what happens when you have depression.
“There are some people who just think you should get over it but it’s a lot deeper than that.
“I was fortunate that I never contemplated suicide but if a truck came through the door I would not have worried.
“I was going mad, driving people crazy.
“We’re very lucky that a bloke like Jeff Kennett and (support organisation) beyondblue are there to make people more aware of the problems which people face.
“Depression takes its toll on the people around you. There are some days when the simplest things are just too hard.”
Sadler said anyone with health issues should speak to medical professionals.
“I’ve been very lucky to have received such great support from family and friends.
“I encourage people to seek out the support of their doctor — your health can improve after you speak to your doctor and you get on the right medication.”
Sadler, who won four South Western District Racing Association trainers’ premierships, has recently joined forces with Aquantia Racing again after setting up Malua Racing with Troy Corstens.
“I had a great time with Troy at Malua Racing but I thought I would go back to Aquantia Racing.
“We’ve been having a great run. From our last seven runners we’ve had five winners,” he said.
“The stable is ticking over very well. I just hope the run can continue.”
. People seeking support can contact Lifeline on 131114 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.