Tue, 24 Nov 2020

Watson on anxiety battle: 'I thought I was going to die'

Field Level Media
29 Oct 2020, 12:19 GMT+10

What more could a seemingly care-free, successful golf champion want out of life?

For Bubba Watson, the missing ingredient has been mental peace.

The two-time Masters winner opened up in a recent interview with Golfweek about his mostly private battles with anxiety, panic attacks that required hospital visits, occasional bouts with excessive weight loss and the professional help he has recently sought.

Watson, who turns 42 next week, also revealed his most morbid thoughts from two years ago, saying, "I had a lot of noise in my head. I thought I was going to die. It was rough."

Currently ranked No. 23 in the FedEx rankings, the 12-time PGA Tour tournament winner has risen as high as the No. 2 player in the world during his career and but sunk as low as 65th in what he described mentally as his "low level" earlier this year.

But he told the publication that he is feeling the best he ever has.

"It takes time to get to that low level and it takes time to get out of that low level," Watson said. "I've probably been in the low level three different stages as a professional golfer but I've gotten out of it. Now, hopefully, I catch those moments when I could spiral back down again, before my anxiety levels crank up.

"I have to try and stay in balance. And right now I'm at an all-time high."

In the interview Watson told about being hospitalized on three separate occasions after fearing he was having heart attacks in addition to his stress-related loss of appetite causing his weight to plummet as low as 165 pounds in early 2019.

"When I started losing the weight and was getting skinny, it gave me flashbacks to my dad," the 6-foot-3 Watson said of his father, an ex-Green Beret who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and died 10 years ago. "So that gave me more mental issues, more anxiety.

"So I quit weighing myself."

While he attempted to side-step questions about his struggling game and weight loss at the time, Watson credited consultation with doctors and a breathing coach along with the use of cbdMD concentrated herbal extracts in helping him manage his anxiety.

He has leaned heavily on his wife, Angie, and his longtime caddie Ted Scott, who credited Watson for speaking publicly about his difficulties.

"He may be able to help others, to tell them there is light at the end of the tunnel."

--Field Level Media

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