Depression: Off the Playing Field

October 3, 2011


Photo: Courtesy of Master isolated images

This past summer a hockey player for the Winnipeg Jets of the NHL, Rick Rypien, passed away where he resides in Coleman, Alberta.  His former team, the Vancouver Canucks reported that Rypien had been suffering from severe depression.  On the ice he was a heavy-hitting, skilled, two-way hockey player.  Though, off the ice his mental health was a rollercoaster ride.  The Jet's Assistant General Manager Craig Heisinger, stated that Rypien was a simple guy that had some issues to deal with.  His family and friends claimed that there was no alcohol or drug abuse occurring, but rather depression issues.  Depression can truly take over the mental and physical being of a human.  The body takes so many tolls when the mind is depressed.  Rypien was involved in a major league sport.  The amount of duties and responsibilities he had were insurmountable.  Between traveling, training, and family and friend obligations, Rypien had a plate-full.

Depression is a complex disease. So, if we are faced with it, what can we do? How can we keep a postive mind and a relaxing environment around ourselves? Depression is a disorder that takes time to heal.  It is important to find things that comfort you. Do not dwell on others and their actions, but rather who you are and what you are doing.  In high school I played soccer in the fall, hockey in the winter, and baseball in the spring.  I know the difficulties that come with trying to juggle activities.  As a result, I would spend a lot of free time relaxing and doing things I wanted to do like going for a run, going out with my family, hanging out with friends, and believe it or not, yoga.  Yoga is an awesome way to prevent depression and stress.  It completely clears your mind and eliminates all the conflicts and stressors that are current to you.  Though, it does not have to be something as organized as yoga, it could just be a walk around the neighborhood, or a drive in the car.  Leaving time for you is an essential key in staying happy and healthy.

Wellness techniques are a great way to help cope with depression. But don't forget about all of the resources around on campus as well. The Counseling Center and Health Services both are excellent places on campus to talk with professionals and receive care.

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