This week’s story related to @dallascowboys QB, Dak Prescott & @fs1’s @skipbayless gets at the crux of so much of what’s wrong related to our society’s understanding of MH.
If you missed the X’s & O’s, Dak was interviewed by Graham Bensinger about his recent struggles w MH, especially as those struggles pertained to the loss of his brother (to suicide), & the timing of the passing coinciding w the lockdowns.
Upon hearing the interview, here was the most jarring of the opinions that came from “talking head” Skip Bayless: “You’re commanding a lot of young men & some older men & they’re all looking to you to be their CEO, to be in charge of the football team. Because of all that, I don’t have sympathy for him going public w: ‘I got depressed, I suffered depression early in COVID to the point I couldn’t work out.’”
That’s only a segment of Skip’s comments. He added things like – this guy’s running “America’s Team” & can’t open up like that. And to make matters worse – despite Skip getting absolutely destroyed by most in the court of public opinion (SM, traditional media, even fellow media friends), the next morning instead of apologizing or walking back his comments, he doubled down on them.
He “justified” his comments & blamed others misinterpreting them, by saying: he has sympathy for those who have “clinical depression”…but that’s different than Dak’s “pandemic depression.” W.O.W.
Dak lost his mother not long ago, as a young man in his 20s. He lost is brother to suicide shortly after. He was faced w the pandemic in his off-season, when he had more time (like the rest of us), to be relegated to his house w his thoughts, lacking the ability to socialize w others. His “pandemic depression” isn’t as real as “clinical depression”???
I often rip apart the “1 in 5 are mentally ill” campaigns. Prob at nauseam for many of you. Why do I do it? Bc that single campaign has absolutely destroyed society’s understanding of MH – represented in a big way by Skip’s “take.”
1 in 5 makes MH a BINARY topic. You are either “sick” (born w or genetically developed) mental illness, or you are healthy/fine/normal/Ok. This way of thinking & the understanding that comes from it makes MH a “sick” vs. “healthy” topic & understanding, & makes folks (like Skip) believe that life experiences do not have significant impacts on our MH. It totally shits on the REALITY that MH lives on a continuum that we ALL fluctuate up & down on. It’s misguided & it’s just plain wrong. The hundreds of millions who have been bed-bound from what life has thrown at them would disagree w Skip’s take.
The other MAJOR issue w Skip’s comments is that they are in direct opposition to the reality of what vulnerability creates. Vulnerability creates psychological safety. It creates trust. It lets others arnd you open up & be your true self. Instead, Skip used Dak’s words to say: opening up this way hurst his ability to LEAD what is America’s Team. What an awful & backwards take. The crux of what we are fighting bc of the misunderstanding in this space. Let’s use this example as THE example to educate. Though not a Cowboys fan, I can’t wait for root for Dak this season!