Alliance Profile – Lance Allred
Lance Starred at Weber State, After Transferring From Utah, He is a TEDx Speaker. The First Deaf Basketball Player To Make The NBA.
What past life experiences, physical traumas or genetics do you believe have had an effect on your mental health?
I was born with 80% hearing loss in an extremely religious polygamous commune. I absorbed many concepts about conditional love. When I escaped polygamy at the age of 13, I began to manifest symptoms that I now know were the trademarks of a condition called “scrupulosity” (OCD related to religious thoughts/concepts taught at a young age) — while when I first went on medication, I was diagnosed with general OCD.
How did the effects on your mental health appear in terms of symptoms?
I channeled a lot of neuroses through basketball, keeping a lot of it hidden, but when I transferred colleges after my sophomore year, I wasn’t able to hide & channel it & I began to break down. Suicidal depression doesn’t come just once, but it often comes in waves & cycles through life.
When and why did you decide to ask for help to get relief?
I was unable to function at the college level, or even show up for school. And I didn’t want to be a victim. I wanted to get ahead of my mental challenges, just like I did with my hearing loss– I was going to find a way & play life on my terms.
What methods helped you individually get/feel better?
Among many things that have helped me, the one thing I will share that won’t be repetitive, is I began to score more with my left hand, even though I am right handed. This did wonders for my unilateral balance of hemispheres in my brain, helping increase serotonin production.
Why did you decide to go public with your story? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
I have been speaking now professionally for a few years, & so much of my life is about breaking through taboos & the limitations that people place on us, & that we believe are true. Religion, mental health, legally deaf– all on the way to becoming the first deaf player in NBA history. My #SameHere🤙Story. Bring it!
How did people react when you went public with your story?
There will always be people who are uncomfortable with anything that requires vulnerability & stepping outside of a paradigm. But for the most part, I have found that through my speaking career, people are starving for authenticity & accountability. Accountability is inspiring.