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Must Read: Christina Kim And Other Golfers Who Battle Depression

There is a very powerful December Golf Digest story by Stina Sternberg that's a powerful, informative but in no way maudlin read (the print issue should hit your mailbox any day if it hasn't already, and the iPad edition is out).

Though Kim is the focus (and kudos to her for sharing her story to overcome the stigma attached to admitting issues with depression), she's certainly not alone.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 14.8 million American adults--or 6.7 percent of the U.S. population--suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, and more than 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year. "It's a huge medical illness on the order of cardiovascular disease and diabetes," says Dr. Michael Lardon, a San Diego-based clinical psychiatrist who specializes in working with professional athletes and has been treating tour players, including half a dozen major champions, for 21 years. (This is the first year he has no LPGA Tour patients, but he currently works with 10 players each from the PGA and tours.) "Unfortunately, it lives in the background."

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Reader Comments (9)

As someone who is fortunate to suffer only occasional, but not clinical, depression I feel very much for those who do. Can only hope Miss Kim and other like her get the help they need and return to something approximating normality (whatever that truly means) in their lives.
11.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephen W
Neglecting mental health and delegating to second class medical status in the past has not helped those most in need. Modern pharmacology, when the right drug is found for the individual, can do wonders. Removing all stigma through education and making sure mental health insurance is on par with other medical insurance is the key. The ACA addresses some of these issues.

The pervasive self reliance, individual maverick meme does not help many in thes matters. Treatment and social connection are both essential legs to real success.

Good luck to Christina Kim. I always thought she was a happy go lucky, fun person. I had no idea what was behind such a sunny personlality. She will now get lots of support that her struggle is in the open.
11.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephenP
Up~down~up~down~up~dow....... The unevenness of lives with even mild mental health issues can drive one to tip over on a given bad day. The hope that mental health will be treated for the disease it truly is brings hope to me, as I have seen the suffering of a friend with mild MH problems, and the bad days, and the sad, scary phone calls, where , hell, I don't know what to say to her....

the stigma must go, and the problems should be attacked.

Recently, at Halloween, TMC showed a Karloff classic~ ''Bedlam'', where mentally ill people were watched and laughed at by those willing to drop tuppence for the ''entertainment/horror of it all. Man's inhumanity to man-God, how frightening...

Wishing Kim,Etc successes.
11.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
A slippery slope it is indeed...dealing with depression.

I was "officially" diagnosed with some form of it many years ago (OK...8). I went on some pink pills, that were working for about a week, then they stopped and gave me even bigger mood/emotional swings. So I tossed em in the trash can after the 2nd prescription about a ride "down-up-down-up-etc"

The solution was to actually stop and listen to the negative demons and figure out that they're telling me to get out of the office IT cubicle're a golfer John!!!

So I left the IT world behind, started up a temp-gig at a new Nevada Bobs helping folks but mostly just BS'ing about golf and clubs and stuff until I got something going in CZ, sold everything basically, and I feel great...err...."better". I still have my dark moments, but not nearly as frequently. When I start to feel it coming, I just go for a walk/Bike ride/quick-9.

I hope CK can again find happiness in her life by being thankful for all she has....and realize deep down how HAPPY it can be to chase a ball around green fields for a living. There are worse things to do for a paycheck.
11.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Depression is a powerful disease, and kudos to Christina Kim sharing her story and Stina doing a piece on depression. But I wish that the main human face of the disease on tour, wasn't someone who was choosing not to get treated. To many people already believe that they can beat this alone (or with friends). You wouldn't treat your own knee injury, you trust a professional - depression is the same thing.
11.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
A classmate of mine was always laughing and joking around. Years later he shot himself in front of his young son. No one would have guessed. Depression is all around us, but is often not detectable until some precipitating event. Good luck Christina.
11.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuffett
johnny, I'm glad you figured out what you like to do, and went and did it! As simple as it sounds that's a tough thing to pull off and very few people manage to do so. Keep on keeping on johnny!
11.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I have severe clinical depression. I have been seeing doctors for 17 years and have tried everything. The first 4yrs wouldn't leave home unless hospitalized or Doctor appointments. Thank to the Lord and my loving family I am here. My Prayers are with you Miss Kim and I am so happy seeing you out there playing and proud that you came out with your story. About every day is a battle for me butt I just want to share a short story. I have anxiety attacks around lots of people ect. anyways. My story is about getting out of the house my older Brother told me I was getting out and we was going golfing. that was the day I fell in love with golf. I didn't have to be around very many people and man I started golfing once to two times a week now I play 3 to 4 times a week. I still have a hard time around a lot of people however I can now be around a lot more than I could but it has also given me more confidence to go other places to. Like I said I still battle it most days but I fight back everyday. My life might not be like most however with the Lord in my life, my Family and my own family Wife 4 kids and 6 grandchildren and a game called golf my life is full. I am so sorry you have depression but your story helps me I don't feel alone and seeing the way you can still do what you do inspires me. Because its hard and even though we can talk to a physiologist even they will tell you they don't really know what its like only the ones that have depression or has had it can really know. But it does help to see a physiologist at least you can talk and let something out and they can help along with the medications. Sorry for so much time Good luck Miss Kim, Prayers are with you and can't wait to see you play. God Bless
03.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill
I suffer from severe clinical depression and anxiety problems. I've taken several kinds of medication, and have seen a handful of therapists. There are some days where I would just lay in bed all day or be too afraid to go to public places. I do not have many friends, and have never been in a romantic relationship in my entire life. There were times where I'd cry myself to sleep almost every night for several months at a time, and other times, I'd feel too sad to cry. I would try to just fake a smile around everyone and try not to feel sorry for myself. I had absolutely no motivation to do anything and lost a lot of interest in things I used to love and found myself isolating myself from everyone. I really felt hopeless and lost. I am currently in college and I also love to play golf. It helps me fight against these illnesses so much. Hearing this story and Steven Bowdich and his really motivates me. I still struggle with these issues but I know it can be beaten, so I'll keep fighting, and never stop!
01.2.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

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