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Mental Health and Baseball


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you've been very open about your journey, and i think it's fair to say all of us wish you well.

i can clearly see signs of depression in some of my kids online. it's in the way they carry themselves, or the distinct difference in the sound of their voice, their resistance to participate in class, or how the quality of their work has dropped off the table. it's alarming, and while my faith allows me the opportunity lift them up in prayer, i wish i could help them in a way that's more immediatley tangible and practical for them. 

it shouldn't surprise anyone that professional athletes are dealing with this issue, too. we'd like to believe that as adults they can manage things a lot better, but that's not always the case. i hope teams are taking this seriously and offering any and all mental health services necessary for the well being of their players and staff.

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I would imagine that mental health issues are even more inclined to get swept under the rug for people making millions of dollars.  Like having a ton of money would cure everything.  And it might be that the individual is more inclined to just ignore that component of their life because the expectation is that they can't have those issues because they're rich.   

Depression doesn't occur just because you might have things to be depressed about.  

I hope that Andrelton gets the help he needs but I also help that this wakes up mlb and those around the league that this has yet to become a socially acceptable disease.  Making it tremendously unlikely to get noticed appropriately.  

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10 minutes ago, Dochalo said:

I would imagine that mental health issues are even more inclined to get swept under the rug for people making millions of dollars.  

Swept under the rug and dismissed by others. I could give dozens of examples but the one that jumps out strongest to me is three years ago when Anthony Bourdain killed himself; a coworker insisted it “had to be murder” because “Why would he kill himself when he had the best job in the world?” My coworker simply assumed if an individual has an enviable job or bank account, depression is not possible. It’s not an uncommon attitude. 

I wish nothing but the best for Simba and you, @tdawg87

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Nobody likes to advertise their mental health issues. I occasionally suffer from bouts of depression (it's pretty bad right now), and it's not something I tell people because it's embarrassing, so people just see me as a happy go lucky guy and would never assume I'd be struggling from depression. The thing is, it sometimes has nothing to do with wealth, job, or even loss of loved ones. It just happens.

I always think of how Tony Soprano described his depression as being the sad clown--someone who cracks jokes and shows no exterior signs of depression but is suffering inside. 

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1 hour ago, eligrba said:

Depending on Simmon's perspective, it would be cool for the Angels to do some public awareness events on this topic when the Twins come to town.  I don't have experience with mental illness but know families and people who live with it.

No, that would just make him uncomfortable.

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Just now, failos said:

Nobody likes to advertise their mental health issues. I occasionally suffer from bouts of depression (it's pretty bad right now), and it's not something I tell people because it's embarrassing, so people just see me as a happy go lucky guy and would never assume I'd be struggling from depression. The thing is, it sometimes has nothing to do with wealth, job, or even loss of loved ones. It just happens.

I always think of how Tony Soprano described his depression as being the sad clown--someone who cracks jokes and shows no exterior signs of depression but is suffering inside. 

Yeah it feels embarrassing, for sure. This is especially true if you don't have anyone to talk to who understands it at all. They just look at you like "dude just stop being sad". If only it were that easy...

Makes you wonder how many people truly are dealing with this. It's easy to hide.

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5 hours ago, Dochalo said:

I would imagine that mental health issues are even more inclined to get swept under the rug for people making millions of dollars.  Like having a ton of money would cure everything.  And it might be that the individual is more inclined to just ignore that component of their life because the expectation is that they can't have those issues because they're rich.   

Depression doesn't occur just because you might have things to be depressed about.  

I hope that Andrelton gets the help he needs but I also help that this wakes up mlb and those around the league that this has yet to become a socially acceptable disease.  Making it tremendously unlikely to get noticed appropriately.  

I think it is becoming more acceptable but I'm not sure that is always the healthy or correct response. It's easy to pay lip service and say things like 'I hope you get the help you need' when what people really need is empathy. For many people who suffer from depression there are very often, actual, real reasons to be depressed that are major contributors to that depression and those environmental circumstances can lead to poor decisions. In Andrelton's case I would hope he communicated these things to the organization, but I think it's more likely that he allowed his feelings to burn a bridge unnecessarily. 

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I also struggle with depression and I struggled to even tell my wife for a while.  I didn’t even want to admit to myself I had it and it took me years to seek help.  This is a great and important discussion.  I would imagine showing weakness like that would be extremely difficult in the sports world

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I've always been an optimistic, upbeat and cheery fella outwardly and for the most part inwardly throughout my life. 

That said, I have gone through bouts of depression where I get down on myself and quiet for days. Seemingly nothing helped except drinking alcohol.

I've learned to deal with it now with a sober mind by going on long hikes, trail runs with the dog or intense gym workouts -- all of which have helped turn that negative energy and depression to a positive mind set. That has really helped me over the past year or so -- as has realizing I need to reach out to family and friends when I'm feeling down. I now have some cocktails or beers every now and then when I'm upbeat and things are going well ... maybe to celebrate a good work week or accomplishment, rather than leaning on booze when I'm down to get me through it. Alcohol seemed to temporarily fix the depression early on, until it wore off....in which you felt 10x worse and maybe said or did things that you regretted. Depression + Alcohol is toxic. When you add in medication with the two it's even worse. Thankfully I haven't had to take meds, but I know some count on them. 

Depression can be really heavy at times. Please talk to someone and find something prudent that takes your mind off your present mental state as it will help get you through it. 

Thank you @tdawg87 for opening up and creating this thread. To @mtangelsfan & @failos and anyone else for opening up as well. Please reach out to me if you ever want to talk on the phone. I'd love to regularly sync up with you and be a good listener. 

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This is a really great thread. Thanks for sharing your experience, tdawg, failos, Chuck, and others.

I've never dealt with depression, but I do have anxiety and take medication for it. I also see a counselor regularly. My wife has battled depression her entire life and also goes to counseling. There's no shame in seeking help, clinical or medical. There's a weird stigma around antidepressants, but many people have depression, anxiety, or another mental illness due to a physiological chemical imbalance in their brain. A diabetic wouldn't be shamed for taking insulin shots to restore their body's chemical balance, so medication for someone's brain should be viewed the same way.

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2 hours ago, Chuckster70 said:

I've learned to deal with it now with a sober mind by going on long hikes, trail runs with the dog 

Never underestimate the benefits (to both body and mind) of an outdoor activity. I cannot tell you how much I wish this was stressed more during this pandemic. 

Even if you can’t do an intense activity, as long as weather permits, sit outside for at least 15 minutes every day unaccompanied by technology of any kind. You will be surprised at how much better you feel - even if it’s just for those 15 minutes. 

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