What Alex Trebek’s Battle Teaches Us About Mental Health

This is a topic that doesn’t get talked abt enough.

We’ve had a # of Hero Story shares, where the backgrnd was a physical health battle, where the sharer talked abt the MH complications that came along as well.  It’s great to see such a popular & loved public figure, in Alex Trebek, be so open abt not just his battle w cancer, but his battle w his MH that is going along w it.

In the video released today, Trebek didn’t go into great detail. He just used the term depression & how bc of it, there were times when he questioned whether he could go on. Though I’m not someone who loves the use of the labels alone, I do so appreciate Trebek’s shining light on a topic that doesn’t get nearly enough play. Also, for someone who has so valiantly fought a ferocious cancer, to hear him say that the depression made him question whether he could go on – but that he IS fighting through, is 1) a validation to all those fighting MH complication, as to how real the struggle can be, & 2) that there can be hope & optimism even w/in the battle.

We didn’t get many details as to why Trebek’s been facing those challenges. With my brother – some of it was based on the meds he took- specifically, the steroid, prednisone, is known to mess w neurochemicals & cause drastic MH symptoms.

For others, battling through a physical health condition like: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc., can take a HUGE emotional toll, not just on the individual fighting, but on their fam & close friends.

Fighting physical battles means the acceptance of change. There are changes to the body (he talks abt that in great detail in his video), changes to ones appearance…their strength…questions abt their mortality…questions abt what might happen IF they pull through & do survive.

This is a topic that just does not get attention, bc we’re so busy battling the physical ailments right in front of us – w the drugs & procedures & docs visits, that our MH gets put on the back seat. Even in hospitals (not every one, but most), we’re lucky when a social worker comes & sees a patient & their fam more than once a wk for a few min at a time.

Mental health IS Health, & we have to prioritize it more.

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