“It all caught up with me at that time … You go through a lot of waves of emotions over the first few weeks [of the break] and especially that first week, that was probably the hardest.”
He said his ”amazing support network” was a key to getting back to good health.
“A holiday was actually spending time at home. I spent as much time at home as I could with friends and family,” he said.
“I did put a bit of pressure on myself to try and play as much as I could this year and, rightly or wrongly, I didn’t come out of it the way I thought I was going to.”
As well as his partner, Maxwell also sought counsel from Cricket Australia psychologist Michael Lloyd, renowned sports psychiatrist Ranjit Menon, Moises Henriques (who also lives with mental illness) and other Australian cricketers.
He said social media wasn’t something that had an impact on his mental health, however his own internal voice had.
“I think I have been pretty hard on myself, I have been my own hardest critic for a long period of time,” Maxwell said. “That can wear you down and it is more the stuff you put on yourself, not so much from the outside. I suppose being able to relax a bit more and enjoy playing the game.
“I probably look at things a little bit differently but a little bit more respect for taking care of myself in all aspects of the game and not sort of losing sight of taking care of myself in those times where you’re in a hotel room pretty constantly and being able to have that time to myself and refresh.
“I have been a pretty bad victim of social media and a fair bit of abuse but I have become pretty accustomed too it. It slides off my back.”
Maxwell has played club cricket the past couple of weeks and also been around the Victorian change rooms during his time off, as well as making sure he kept fit.
“It [the break] probably took a little bit longer than I thought it was going to take,” he said. “It was an interesting six weeks away from the game. There were times I thought I would come back earlier and once I got back into club cricket the cycle started to feel a bit more normal again and I feel like I am back at home.
“Coming back here with the Stars it feels like home again … a bit of familiarity.”
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.