Alliance Profile – Jim Dowd
1995 Stanley Cup Champion with his Hometown Team, The New Jersey Devils, First New Jersey HS Hockey Player Ever Drafted Directly to the NHL, Board Member: Asbury Park Music & Film Festival, Very Active in Community & Charitable Work
What past life experiences, physical traumas or genetics do you believe have had an effect on your mental health?
I grew up in an alcoholic environment with both my mom & dad. My father battled depression his entire life. My parents divorced when I was going into the 7th grade. My father went to Toronto for a year and my youngest brother John & I moved from our hometown of Brick, NJ to Long Branch, NJ to live with my mother and another lady, which was very confusing to say the least. My brother Brendan was a sophomore in high school and lived back in Brick with our oldest brother Pete. I didn’t see much of them at all that year, nor my other brother, Mike & sister, Kim.
How did the effects on your mental health appear in terms of symptoms?
I felt very confused and frustrated. I became distant and felt like it was me against the world. I slept a lot and avoided social situations. I’ve battled depression since I can remember, and I’ve had OCD my entire life that I’m always trying to work on.
When and why did you decide to ask for help to get relief?
I was mentally exhausted trying to fight the depression on my own. I also realized the effect it was having on my family, and that was making it worse. My wife convinced me to get help. I’m always looking for natural ways to keep my mind calm and I’m excited to learn what has worked for others involved in the Global Mental Health community.
What methods helped you individually get/feel better?
Therapy through the NHLPA (Player’s Association) Program. Then I participated in local follow up therapy. I never took a med in my life until five years ago and now take a very low dosage of Zoloft. Still working on natural ways to maintain a consistent routine.
Why did you decide to go public with your story? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
I’m actually going public on this site for the first time. I feel this is a great platform that can help many people as I don’t wish depression on anyone.
How did people react when you went public with your story?
I am confident people will react in a positive way and see that they are not alone. We can all help each other by telling our stories when we are ready. #SameHere, I am so thankful I finally faced it!