LUKE HUMPHRIES has opened up on his on-going battle with anxiety and revealed his future plans both in and out of darts.
Luke’s future in the sport appeared in doubt after he revealed on social media that he had been suffering from frequent panic attacks, and as a result, was considering quitting professional darts.
The Red Dragon sponsored, youngster, came back from a break this week and opened up as to the origins of the problem. The Berkshire player said;
“It all started about a month before I made my World Championship debut in December 2017,”
“I had a bad experience where I was having palpitations in my chest and it’s spooked me since that day. “I’ve continuously suffered from tense, uncomfortable feelings in my chest and my mind runs away with negative thoughts about what’s happening to me.
“The episodes keep getting progressively worse and worse, and the problem is a part of my general life, not just in darts.
“The problem never used to affect my darts, in fact, I used to feel better when I played darts but more recently it’s started to creep into all aspects of my life, including darts.
“The palpitations tend to creep in especially towards the end of matches, and it’s cost me a number of games where I’ve been ahead.
“When I get these feelings I can’t concentrate and I just want to stop playing and walk away, but I know the right thing to do is to carry on.
“It really is a horrible thing to have to deal with, but sometimes I am able play through it and post good averages, whereas other times it gets too much for me.”
As a multiple winner, of Development Tour titles, Humphries won his PDC Tour Card for the first time in January 2018 thanks to topping the Development Tour Order of Merit.
Humphries’ came to the attention of many during a run to the quarter-finals of the 2018/19 World Championship, ending the reign of then-World Champion Rob Cross on the way.
He expanded on his initial comments;
“I think now is the right time to come out about it because my career has only just started and I didn’t want to mess up my future in the sport by leaving it too long to get help,” the 24-year-old added.
“Sometimes I look at what I’ve achieved so far and wonder how I’ve done it.
“For example, in my game with Rob Cross at Ally Pally, we went off for the break at 2-2 and I didn’t know if I could even make it back on stage.
“I really didn’t feel good, my chest felt like it was going to stop as I was suffering a really bad panic attack.
“I managed to find the strength to go back on and I ended up winning the game, but my reaction at the end was not one of disbelief that I’d won.
“Rather, I was just glad the game was over and I could get off stage. Finishing that game was the biggest achievement of my career, regardless of the result.
“That match has given me belief that I can get through this and sort it out. It’s a silent illness and I wanted to keep it that way with nobody finding out.
“But now I’ve come out about it and taken the weight off my shoulders. It was a relief to let it all out because in professional sport everyone’s eyes are on you.
“There are millions of people around the world suffering in silence with mental health issues. It’s horrible and we need more people to speak out, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Humphries’ efforts at Alexandra Palace resulted in him being picked amongst the Premier League Contenders, average over 100 in a 7-7 draw with Gerwyn Price.
Humphries has struggled for form on the regular but says he will carry on for the foreseeable future. Whilst seeking to get the assistance he needs.
“In the short-term I’m going to carry on playing because I haven’t yet seen a professional to tell me otherwise,” Humphries explained.
“So I’ll be playing in Barnsley this weekend and then I’m seeing a hypnotherapist next week to discuss the best way forward.
“They will be able to tell me if they think a break would do me good or if it would be better to carry on and fight through it. My main goal is to get back to the World Championship.
“I’m still not where I want to be, but I’ve got the ball rolling with my appointment next week to try to get to the root of why I get these feelings.
“I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere close to getting better but I’m on the right path.”
DartsWorld wishes Luke a speedy return to premium health as well as every success in his professional future.