A Famous NHL Goalie Put A Bullet In His Head, And He Wants Everyone To Know Why
Trigger warning: graphic description of a suicide attempt.When you're paid to be tough and are idolized by millions, it's hard to admit when things don't feel right. Now he's helping other people speak out.
Here's Clint Malarchuk — former NHL goalie, cowboy, macho guy, and all-around hero. He also survived the most gruesome injury in NHL history, when his throat was accidentally slashed by a skate on live TV.
Not only did he NOT get counseling, he was back on the ice 10 days later. It was part of his "I'm a tough guy, I don't need help" attitude.
What was behind the mask that most people didn't know about? Clint was suffering from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress. One day on his ranch, he took a gun and put a bullet in his head. He survived.
When Clint woke up from a coma, he was determined to use his fame to help other people. He finally opened up about his mental health issues, hoping to help break down the stigma.
He wrote a book called "The Crazy Game." In it, he says that struggling with mental illness was way more painful than having his throat slashed. Clint opens up about the pain and his path to getting help.
Clint says that many people with mental health issues don't speak up from fear of being judged but that it can change as society's attitude changes. He points out that if someone had cancer, they'd likely tell their boss, yet they hide mental illness even though it's an ailment as well.
He compares "getting depressed from a lack of serotonin" with "getting diabetes from a lack of insulin," stating they're both chemical imbalances. So why does the person with depression have more stigma attached?
Mental illness is not a weakness. In fact, Clint realized the toughest thing he ever did ... was to allow himself to talk about it.
Here's the full interview. (Warning: The throat-slashing skate injury appears from 0:14 to 0:27.)
I don't watch hockey, but I know a brave person when I see one.