Players you know that dealt with Depression/Anxiety during or after their careers

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Feb 17, 2006.

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  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Just on a serious note does anyone know any Hockey players who suffered from depression at any time? I know Ron Ellis is the most famous case of that I believe. I'm not sure if it was during his playing career with the Leafs or not, but I know after Hockey he went through depression (who wouldnt if your playing under Harold Ballard). In fact he's spoken publicly on that several times and I can remember a recent commercial he did regarding two big accomplishments in his life, one was winning the Stanley Cup and the other was beating clinical depression. Then he picked up the certificate he got for beating depression and said: "this one by far was the toughest."

    Terry Sawchuk is another one that comes to mind, of course during his playing career he was often known as moody and isolated. Marcel Pronovost once said he was like that so he didnt have to deal with people, that way they kept their distance. I've heard it was bad nerves that Sawchuk had.

    Not sure why some players go into depression, I guess they are just like anyone else, but I would think the causes might be that after Hockey they dont have anything to do, or that even with the money they make they still cant find happiness
     
  2. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    I disagree that Ron Ellis would be the most famous case. Bryan Trottier was reported to have considered suicide at one point.
     
  3. revolverjgw

    revolverjgw Registered User

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    Stephane Richer was pretty messed up at times. And there was a story on Sportsnet about Jocelyn Lemieux having personal problems a while back, had much difficulty adjusting to life after hockey.

    I don't think Markus Naslund is depressed or anything, but MAN that guy seems like a major league Debbie Downer in his interviews.
     
  4. BraveSirRobin

    BraveSirRobin Ducks offseason

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    I remember reading a story telling how Robert Esche went through some really bad bouts of depression. Really sad stuff.
     
  5. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    I seem to remember Frank Mahovolich being hospitalized for depression when he played for the Leafs during the Imlach era.
     
  6. Both Mahovlich and Ellis played for Ballard at the time. Which explains a lot.
     
  7. Habsaku

    Habsaku Registered User

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    Brian Fogarty had a lot of problems with that didnt he? Poor guy, real sad story he had.
     
  8. What a waste to talent he was
     
  9. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    Frank Mahovlich had two severe bouts of depression - one in 1964-65 and again in 1967-68. Whereas most of the cases here got casual mention in the newspapers, the Frank Mahovich bouts got day to day coverage at times. Imlach was mostly the cause of Mahovlich's problems. Ellis did play for Ballard while Mahovlich did not. Ballard was around when Mahovlich played for the Leafs but he had no real power or influence until 1972 when he gained control of the Leafs.

    The most celebrated case of depression or anxiety was Paul Henderson after the 1972 series after he returned after having scored the winning goals in the last three games.
    Henderson turned to religion to help him cope. Ron Ellis did the same.

    Mike Walton had bouts of anxiety and depression first caused by Imlach and then other factors after Imlach left.


     
  10. Just for the sake of it; what do the rest of you do when you are depressed?
     
  11. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Excellent question. When I was at my all time low - to the point of crying uncontrollably - I would go out of my way to talk to strangers and ask them questions. When I took my mind off of my problems and inserted myself into someone else's life via conversation it helped me very much. As well, helping other people in any way I could helped me. Carrying groceries, holding a door or just chatting.

    The key is to get your mind off of your problems and being alone does not do the trick.
     
  12. brianscot

    brianscot Registered User

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    I take my meds and convince myself that the Boston Bruin's will win the Stanley Cup again in my life time.

    I work out and rage against the machine.

    Hmm, the bruin's are still not in the top 8 in the east, time to up my meds.
     
  13. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Therapy and Prozac.
     
  14. LePoche69

    LePoche69 Registered User

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    I think you can stake that Pat Brisebois was probably depressed or anxious when Habs' direction gave him some off days 3 years ago.

    Not really "anxiety" in a pathologic sens, maybe just nervousness, but I remember a young good Habs' prospect named Pierre Sevigny (great "Claude Lemieux" type, former top ten AHL scorer) who used to throw up before every game at the NHL level.

    Brian Fogarty is one. Living what he lived, you must be depressed or at least psychologically "sick". Probably same can be said about Theo Fleury. Having drinking and drug problems that big usually means something's wrong, or that you're "hiding" yourself from something you refuse to face. I won't be surprise if 10 or 15 years from now, we learn that Fleury was living this or that...

    I think I read that John Kordic was really depressed at the end of his life.
     
  15. LePoche69

    LePoche69 Registered User

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    Well, I don't want to sound pathetic, but it's strangely kinda fun to read about that since it probably happens to all of us sometimes or another.

    For me, I can say that Hockey and baseball may have save my life, honnest. In my late teenage year, I was very low, very very low. I remember those days when the only way I found to reach the end of the day was simply reading news on hockey or baseball (depending on the season) until the night games. Then I watch the games, then go to bed. The morning after, everything starts again, same routine.

    I don't remember exactly what helped me out of that loop, but still, that period allowed me to let pass the worse.
     
  16. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    I'm glad you're willing to share this. Saying that someone,Ballard or whoever 'caused' someone's depression can only partially be true. People can have episodes brought on by stress,but usually there is a chemical problem that has to be dealt with. You sound like you went the cognitive route that my wife used. She had to understand the root of the problem,understand what situations and people brought it on,and train herself to keep herself to stay in positive circumstances. Most aren't strong enough to do that,hence the lucratine anti-depressive medication market.

    There is a depressive gene that affects your seritonin level and one way or another,you have to get it under control.

    In terms of hockey,most recently, Shayne Corson has had anxiety/depression problems.
     
  17. brianscot

    brianscot Registered User

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    Shayne Corson also had to deal with ulcerative colitis, another condition that I became familiar with intimately.

    John Kordic battles with depression were not assisted by his alleged steroid abuse either.

    Combining depressive symptoms with anabolic steroid's personality altering side effects must have been a nightmare.
     
  18. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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    Sadly, Roman Lyashenko.
     
  19. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

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    Hockey helps!

    Talking about your problems with someone (friend, family, etc.) who will listen to you without judging you can be tremendously helpful.

    Also, music has helped me through the darkest of hours. Here are some personal favorites when I'm feeling blue or in a funk:

    Radiohead (perhaps the kings of depressed-sounding tunes)
    Rage Against the Machine (especially good if you're angry too)
    Alice in Chains (be forewarned, they didn't write many happy songs)
    Neil Young (this guy's been through it all)
    Doors (take the blue bus to the end of the night)
    Pink Floyd
    Beck (most uplifting on this list)
     
  20. Weztex

    Weztex Registered User

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    I know that the night Stephane Richer and the Devils won the cup in 95, he immediately left the arena, went home, packed his luggage and drove back to Montreal. On his way he listened repeatedly to an album of country music and cried.
     
  21. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    I always thought that Richer was the biggest mis match of physical ability and for lack of a better term, mental aptitude, for a life in hockey. I've read so many posts calling him a 'waste', as if to suggest that he owed us a great career because he was blessed with skills we'd like to have.
     
  22. Snap Wilson

    Snap Wilson Registered User

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    Was it Charlie Rich's PICTURES AND PAINTINGS? I've cried to that one myself.
     
  23. Who's mask it that moneyp?
     
  24. sarge88

    sarge88 Registered User

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    Had anxiety issues very bad a few years ago after the birth of our first, some depression as well but the anxiety was almost unbearable.

    Luckily I work in a related field and the knowledge that I had was helpful to a degree, but therapy worked for me.

    Weekly sessions for 2 months, twice a month for 4 months, then a monthly for about 6.

    I didn't take any meds, although I was close at one point but they just weren't for me but there are tons of people who do get help from them regardless of what giant minds like Tom Cruise want to make you think.

    In the end, most of us know where our anxiety or depression comes from (or what triggers it) but we really need that truly unbiased and uninvolved person to help us see it. For me it was the new challenges and responsibilities that go with parenthood plus a good dose of relationship issues with my own father that was the root. I spent the better part of my 20's trying to convince myself that I didn't care that I had no relationship with him but in the end I needed to face facts and find a way to deal with it.

    The bottom line is that it is better to talk to a professional early on if you start to feel depressed or overly anxious. There should be no shame in it, but unfortunately for some (especially men) there is still a stigma.
     
  25. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    If only there was someone there to help poor Terry Sawchuk back in the day. Gordie Howe once said that for a guy who seemingly had everything he was a very unhappy person, and that was too bad.

    The problem is that people think that depression is a sign of weakness, the truth is that its a very poorly understood disease. People think its easy to just wake up every day and have happy thoughts but people that are depressed can do that about as good as I can figure out the meaning of life. So even though athletes who seem to have everything money wise and fame wise there are still cases where they go home at night and are very truly unhappy. Look at Paul Henderson, a Canadian hero, but then everyone expected too much out of him and that can take a toll on him. Thankfully he found Christianity, which I know helped him a lot after 1975.

    As for Bryan Trottier I'm not sure if its true but did he invest a ton of money into Hockey rinks across New York State only to lose most of his money? To me that coudl easily start depression. I seem to remember something about that.
     
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