When we hear “Scott Niedermayer” what do we think of it? Brilliant winner? The man who won four Stanley Cups, a Norris Cup, the Coon Smith Cup and multiple Olympic gold medals?
He is a defensive man in the Hall of Fame, known in his career as the image of poise. Now, though, he’s crying. He reveals his soul to old fellow Kamloops Blazers, former NHL goalkeeper Cory Hirsch, and celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Diane McIntosh. Niedermayer explains how winning his fourth trophy was his greatest achievement because it meant he could pass the trophy to his brother Rob. Niedermayer collapses, and Dr. Macintosh does, too. It’s a beautiful moment, raw for someone like Niedermayer, whose entire brand as a player was on the verge of composing.
This is just one snapshot of a lengthy interview in which Niedermayr delves into his mental health. He is a guest in stunned Brand new podcast with the players tribune, It was launched on the 15th of December. Hirsch, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and a hockey mental health advocate, co-hosts with Dr. Macintosh. Their guests include an impressive roster of professional athletes, from Niedermayer to NBA forward Kevin Love to Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Kurt Warner to golfer Bubba Watson to tennis player Taylor Townsend. Each episode will delve into the mental health struggles that often accompany the stress of being a professional athlete.
“For professional athletes, a career condenses to 10 years, while most people can go up to 40 or more,” Hirsch said. “So I think this is the different place. If you end up with a mental illness, your career will only be 10 years, and the pressure is someone else will quickly take your job if you say anything.”
At the same time, professional athletes can suffer from the same characteristics of mental illness as “regular” citizens – although athletes are expected to be more immune.
“Mental illness is the same,” said Dr. Macintosh. “A panic attack is a panic attack is a panic attack. It can be a little different for each individual, but it is still a panic attack. There is a belief that I have a lot of gifts, how can I suffer from this problem? People don’t want to hear about it because they see me.” On a pedestal. That’s some of what goes into the brains of very successful people, usually in just about everything… When they’re faced with mental illness, they feel, ‘I can’t tell anyone, I’ll see weak.’ I will be seen as less than. People think I have a lot. People already think I’m successful. They will look at me differently. “
What brought Hirsch and Dr. Macintosh together? Two years ago, she had taken a break from her practice to write a book, This is depression With the aim of helping people understand this specific mental illness. During the book’s launch on a tour across Canada, she held a panel discussion on mental health of which Hirsch was a guest. He was a brilliant talker, as she fondly remembers him, and the two struck up a friendship. Together, they provide a crucial contrast to shocked. Hirsch was on the front lines as a former NHL goalkeeper and was always at war with his mental health and tried to hide it during his playing days. It brings engagement to the show that guests recognize. Dr. Macintosh, of course, brings formal mental health expertise into her profession.
“We have both sides of the coin covered, and I think that’s something no one has seen before,” Hirsch said. “This is not so Doctor Phil. Diane is sympathetic, compassionate and kind and she doesn’t do that need to To do this correctly? She’s doing this out of the goodness of her heart to help people.”
How will you play each episode? Because every participating athlete comes as an open book with the intention of disclosing his experiences, shocked It will act as a therapy session, pulling the curtain back. While Hirsch often has a current connection to the topic, Dr. McIntosh approaches each guest as a blank slate, “as I’m talking to someone I saw for the first time as a patient.” The format, then, goes beyond just sharing an athlete’s story. It’s an active collaborative process, with a story followed by analysis from Dr. McIntosh, moving on to a broader discussion of the topic raised in that episode. For example, in the Kevin Love episode, he discussed panic attacks, and Hirsch and Dr. McIntosh moved on to a deeper discussion about panic attacks, including those that Hirsch experienced as a player.
Hirsch and Dr. McIntosh believe that by humanizing their podcast topics, they can (a) expose the stigma that professional athletes cannot have mental health problems and (b) provide role models to help others with health problems mental. As Dr. Macintosh sees it, people can see themselves in the athletes’ stories while identifying the symbols they seek are open about mental health struggles.
Don’t be surprised if several big-name athletes start appearing shocked After the first wave of episodes, especially with hosts very interested in the topic.
“Helping people was a greater gift to me than any victory I had in the National Hockey League,” Hirsch said. “My Olympic medal, I’ll give it to someone if it means I have to help them. That’s what it means to me.”