Seattle Kraken Bring Mental Health to the Forefront

It’s great to see people voicing their concerns about their mental health publically. You have seen it done by sports icons throughout the last half a decade. It is a true testament of the struggles that people face that are prevalent across all spectrums of society. 

I remember hearing players describe their issues with anxiety. Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team, Simone Biles of USA Olympic Gymnastics, Cleveland Cavs power forward Kevin Love, and now players on the NHL expansion team, the Seattle Kraken, are voicing their own battles. 

This type of interaction with this difficult but important topic in a public forum from perhaps unexpected places fixes our attention on the propensity for the availability of difficulties in our own experiences. However, this is not a topic that should be lightly interacted with. We must take these types of admissions seriously. There is an atmosphere of not showing any weakness in the world of sport, and somewhat pervasive in our general society.

Mental health is a broad swathe of issues that are difficult to encounter in a public setting. Depression and anxiety are the generally foregone conclusion of the most prominent types of issues, but there is also a world where mania can be experienced and the reaction to that type of mental health issue is not even addressed on a general basis. If you have manic tendencies in a public view you are perceived often as a problem. This is a mental health symptom as much as the others are.

There is room in the general conversation for an expansion of the defining terms and situations that encompass mental health and sports. The ups and downs of competition lend themselves to a sort of bipolar mindset that can be volatile in some people’s cases. We have to remember that these are people and they struggle with real issues just like everybody else. Also, the inclusion of their voice will bring legitimacy to the struggle against the stigma associated with interactions concerning mental health in our culture. This is all coming from someone who has been voicing his battle for half a decade now–knowing the game gets you on your way to victory!

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