12/8/17 #SameHere Hero: Jesse Macmillan

Today’s #SamehereHero: Jesse Macmillan (Jesse is a member of the Crazy Instagram page & reached out to us directly with some question of his own. His story and his strength are so compelling, that by choosing to share, he’s going to help many lives. Often times, our mental health can be affected by a combination of genetic predispositions, physical trauma, and life experiences all mixed. For Jesse, it’s hard to tell what’s contributed the most, but his inner strength is what keeps him going.)


“Although growing up, I don’t remember myself feeling any of my own symptoms, mental health complications existed in my family/household – anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, to name a few. I became a professional boxer up in Canada, loving the sport as long as I can remember. Although I am near 6′-0” I am able to box in the super featherweight division, having gotten down to 130lbs from training!


A number of years ago, my brother was involved in a major single-car crash. Some of the passengers in the car, unfortunately, passed away, and while my brother was lucky to escape with his life, he was paralyzed from the waist down. This was extremely trying on me and my family, and made an already anxious bunch, even more anxious.


Recently, I suffered consecutive losses in the ring, and because I take my sport so seriously, these losses affected my self-confidence profoundly. After one of those losses this past April, it actually triggered manic symptoms and then psychotic delusions where I lost touch with reality. At first, my mania made me feel like I didn’t care I had lost. I went right out after the fight to celebrate (very unlike me), and then shortly after, the psychosis kicked in, along with the down feelings of depression.


I thought I was maybe having complications from a concussion due to the physical demands of the ring…I just wasn’t myself. I went to the hospital a few times on my own and they gave me no conclusive answer. After scans, they were convinced my episodes had nothing to do with the physical traumas from boxing.


Still another delusion episode shortly after my own hospital visits, convinced my dad to bring me to the hospital yet again where it was determined I had psychosis. I am extremely lucky that I have a good support system: my family and boxing trainer are there for me, and just knowing that they themselves have been through their own mental health battles and “get it” provides me with much-needed comfort.


Visiting both a therapist and nurse practitioner have been instrumental in my recovery from my episodes. Additionally, going running and to the gym – FORCING myself, even when it’s not appealing to me is a key to me getting back to a healthy baseline when I have episodes. For me, since I believe some of my symptoms/condition come from genetics, medications have been a big help as well.


I was so inspired reading the stories from some of the others who posted on Instagram that I messaged the Crazy account myself, and I believe if I can motivate/ inspire even one person with my story, to keep pushing, sharing will be have been worth it. #SameHerefrom Canada!”

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