“Everyone is going through something that we can’t see,” Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers wrote recently for The Players Tribune.
Truer words may never have been strung together, and we should all remind ourselves of them daily, especially in a world when a carefully curated social media feed can sometimes serve as a curtain for what’s actually going on behind it. Love’s first-person story about experiencing a panic attack during a game last November was eerily similar to this one written by my close friend and colleague Brad Stulberg, who just publicly shared his own story about struggling with mental illness for Outside.
“Mental illness arises from a complex linking between one’s genes and environment, and the triggers underlying its onset are often hard, if not impossible, to pinpoint,” writes Stulberg, a stress expert who literally wrote the book on peak performance. “Not to mention, the same personality traits and brain chemistry that underlie our greatest gifts—for example, the ability to think obsessively and problem-solve relentlessly—can also give rise to our most awful curses.”
Finally, Scott Douglas, an early mentor of mine and one of the first editors to ever give me a paid assignment way back when, wrote this piece for Slate explaining the effectiveness of exercise in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
“Running is definitely the key to managing my depression,” writes Douglas, whose book, Running Is My Therapy, comes out next month. “I shouldn’t have had to discover that on my own.”
I don’t know where I’m going with this or what more I can add to the conversation, but I think it’s important that we don’t stigmatize mental illness, that we do offer support to those who are suffering, and that we all be a little more open, and empathetic, with one another in general.
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