Clint Malarchuk is a former NHL goalie, cowboy and all around hero. While playing for the Buffalo Sabres, his neck was slashed, on live TV, by a skate in what is the most gruesome sports’ history. After this injury, he was not offered counseling of any sort and was back on the ice in ten days. His attitude was that he was a tough guy and he didn’t need help. But Clint was suffering from depression, obsessive compulsive d/o and post traumatic stress. One day, on his ranch, he put a gun to hid head and pulled the trigger putting a bullet in his head. He was airlifted to the hospital, insisting that he didn’t need the air ambulance. They actually had to sedate him to get him on the helicopter! He survived the suicide attempt. After Clint awoke from the coma due to the gunshot to the head, he was determined to use his fame to help people with mental illness and break down the stigma. He wrote a book called “The Crazy Game”. In it he says that dealing with mental illness was much more painful than having his throat slashed. In an interview (below) he said he would rather have his throat slashed a million times than suffer from depression! In the book, he also opens up about the pain and his path to getting help. He says that many people don’t speak about their mental illness for fear of being judged and the stigma, but that this can change as society’s attitudes about mental illness change. He points out that a person who had cancer would go and tell his boss, whereas a person with mental illness would hide He also says that a depression is caused by a deficiency in serotonin, just like diabetes is caused by a deficiency in insulin. Both chemical imbalances. So why does the person with depression have more stigma attached? Mental Illness is not a weakness. In fact, Clint realized the toughest thing he ever did was to allow himself to talk about it.
Here’s the full interview. (Warning: The throat-slashing skate injury appears from 0:14 to 0:27.)