Former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk talked about his difficulties with mental health issues during an interview with CBC host Gloria Macarenko. He was a guest speaker on the television program The Early Edition. His hope is to help break the stigma of mental illness, a subject which is gaining in popularity and acceptance by talking about it in the media.
In the wake of the Humboldt hockey tragedy, Clint spoke about suffering from PTSD, which may happen to those closely involved with the people involved in the bus crash on April, 6, 2018. He says he suffered PTSD as a result of an injury he sustained while playing hockey; his jugular vein was deeply cut by another player’s skate blade while he was a team member of the Buffalo Sabres.
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PTSD stands for post traumatic stress syndrome and it is associated with witnessing or being a victim of violent and/or distressing events. Clint said of the events “It really set me off in a lot of bad ways.” He was reminded again of his injuries when Richard Zednek of the Florida Panthers sustained an injury of the same nature in 2008. The effects of the injury have been ongoing even though he returned to play professional hockey ten days after being injured. “Anybody in Canada, or even North America, can really be thrown through a loop on that, but somebody like myself who has struggled with trauma, it affected me,” he said.
Effects of this personal tragedy have lasted for many years for Malarchuk; it lead to him to turn to alcohol to relieve his pain. Addictions and mental health are closely tied together for many people. It is not uncommon for a dual diagnosis to occur as people attempt to self medicate their symptoms by turning to substances such as alcohol, tobacco, street drugs and prescription medicine.
He will be a speaker on April, 14, 2018 at a free event in Surrey, BC called How Addiction Affects Families. His addiction to alcohol lead him to try to commit suicide; he says
“Addiction is so out there, we close our eyes to it a lot of times and it affects the whole family,” he said. “They see it, they live it. How do you handle it?” He is promoting awareness by speaking up publicly.”Being a suicide survivor, I’m a big advocate for helping people on addiction,” he said. “There is no way I would have pulled that trigger had I been sober.”
If you need someone to talk to please visit suicide.org
and if you are in immediate danger of hurting yourself please call 911 in North America or your local emergency number if you reside in another location.