The Stigma of Mental Health Issues

“The Stigma is real and incredibly damaging for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, ptsd and suicide. Millions of us suffer daily, yet we have been taught through shame that we don’t talk about it. Mental Health challenges are commonly caused by either brain chemistry issues and/or experienced trauma. Both of which we normally have little control over. If you have struggled, you are not weak, or lack character. The exact opposite is true. We get up everyday and fight and struggle. We courageously deal with these challenges in all aspects of our life. We must change the perception of ourselves. If you are struggling right now, you are not alone. You are brave and courageous. Make sure you know that. #stopthestigma#strengthinnumbers”

I saw this quote on Facebook the other day and it was so very poignant. Every day, I talk to former NFL players and many of them are suffering because they played a game they loved, a game they played better than nearly anyone else, a game that unknowingly would also rob so many of them of their futures. Many of them struggle every single day with depression and anxiety. Concussions. Dementia. Alzheimer’s. CTE.

I was talking to one of our clients. He was struggling. And in a raw, rare moment, he opened up to me about his depression and the docs he was seeing. It was the doctor’s last day at the office before moving and he was scared. So we talked. We talked about how to find a new doctor. We talked about his wife and her unending love and support. “I got a good one, for sure,” he told me. And I could “hear” his smile coming back to his face, even over the phone. I told him to keep doing what he was doing – talking to the doctors, talking to his wife. I told him we were here to help, too. And I think we both felt better.

I had this conversation and shortly after saw that quote above. To all of our clients, and anyone suffering, know you are not alone. You fought every day on that field and although this is a different kind of battle, I know you still have the courage to fight. It will be a struggle some days, but you ARE brave. And you have lots of people who are willing to help and fight with you.