CRAIG Bellamy has opened up on his struggles with depression and admits the injuries during his career have played a part in making his condition worse.

Bellamy revealed he has been diagnosed with manic depression and has been taking medication for three years in an interview on Sky Sports at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The 40-year-old discussed the ‘ridiculous high and massive lows’ throughout his career which ended in 2014, and included 12 months at Rovers.

Bellamy was signed by Rovers boss Mark Hughes in 2006 and admits before that, during his injury-plagued time with Newcastle, that he considered quitting the game all together.

"I was struggling with tendinitis in both knees and just wanted my career to be over," said Bellamy, who scored 17 times in his one season at Ewood Park.

"Newcastle had invested heavily in me and I felt I couldn't justify it.

"I remember Manchester United were interested in me as well, that summer, but I knew I couldn't go there.

"I knew I was in no position to compete with the likes of the players they had there.

"Having to deal with that was the toughest time during my career. It becomes a relief when you have an operation."

Bellamy played 78 times for Wales and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games and is now Under-21 coach at Belgian side Anderlecht.

But despite playing close to 300 games in the top-flight, football became a struggle for Bellamy, who said injuries left him feeling ‘tortured’.

He added: "During my career my depression was worse, way worse, the emotional side, I'd come home and wouldn't speak for three days.

"I had a wife, young family and I literally wouldn't talk. I would shut myself away in a room and then I would go to bed on my own. That was the only way I could deal with depression.

"Football's only here a short time, that's why you probably see a lot of footballers, more from our generation, do struggle with it.

"I've never spoken about it, I don't really feel it's anyone's business to talk about it, I'm quite private in what I do.

"Very few people know. My private life is very, very private to me, I always want to keep that separate. You only see what I want you to see."