Torofy Blog

Depression and Heart Disease

Jeremy Holm talks of struggles with mental illness and finding hope


When I really contemplated taking my
life when I really thought that that was the only answer left, there was some part
inside of me that just said there is always hope. When I was in high school you know the
words anxiety and depression were not words that I actually knew. I just knew that I felt different and I knew that I, you know felt that hurt inside and I didn’t know why, and you start wondering you know is something wrong with me,
am I broken or am I doing something wrong. I didn’t really know what was
going on until years later. The first time you ever really talk about it with someone is kind of scary. Especially when you’re a teenager, you
know as a teenager you want to be accepted and you want to you know fit in
and you don’t want to have anything that you see as kind of flaws that might
cause you to not be acceptable to the group. When I first opened up to some
very close friends about it and then eventually my family, there was a lot of
love and support. Sometimes the most courageous step we can take is saying at this point you know what this is getting to the point where this is really
affecting my life and I do need some support with this whatever that support
may be like but taking that step and saying I do need some help that’s pretty
brave. A lot of times you’ll get things like you know ‘just change your, you
know just change what you’re thinking about’ or you know I’ve grown up very
religious and so some people well-meaning will say things like ‘oh
we’ll just you know pray harder’ and everybody is trying to give advice that
they think will help but a lot of times it’s coming from a misunderstanding you
know things that deal with mental health aren’t always something that you can
just kind of pull yourself out of you know it’s not just a simple thing that’s
just oh I’m feeling down today so I’m going to think about something positive
you can be trying your hardest to be thinking about something positive but
your body’s still reacting in a certain way and that’s something that it’s
sometimes hard for others to understand who haven’t experienced it. You know there’s there’s no there’s no
you know stereotype for mental health it affects everybody, it can’t affect everybody. I find that as an athlete you know, it’s easier for me to sometimes, you
know get before a crowd and maybe get their attention a little bit with the
bobsled thing because they’ll look at me and think well you’re not someone that I
would think would struggle with that and that’s when I say exactly. A lot of times the people around us that we think might not be struggling sometimes silently are
because they don’t know how to express it and they’re almost afraid to express
it. So if in my role if I can get out there and help others feel safe in
talking about it and understand that there’s help and hope you know I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen.

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