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WATCH: A college football star talks about his toughest opponent, depression

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/21/17

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This is courageous—and I know this will be a welcome gift to many.

As his bio notes:

The following is an Op-Ed piece from Sean Welsh, a senior offensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes from Springboro, Ohio.  He has 35 career starts and has been recognized nationally for his efforts as a player and a student. The 2017 season will mark Welsh’s fourth year as a member of the Iowa Football Leadership Group.

You can watch the video above, but please do read his powerful testimony: 

My problems with depression began in 2014 during my second year as a redshirt freshman. As we progressed into the summer program, I had this inkling that something wasn’t right. I ate less and isolated myself from teammates.  I spent more time asleep or in front of a TV than I did with people. Football, the driving force for many years of my life, went from a source of purpose to a source of apathy. I started to feel a myriad of negative emotions: sadness, anxiety, dread and anger. They hit me like a bombardment from the moment I woke up to when I went back to bed. It was every dimension of terrible. And I kept wondering what was wrong. My family and I both needed some answers so I went to a therapist where we talked about identity and why I played football. It was like pulling teeth. Up to then, I felt that inner motives or emotions weren’t something to be shared – they showed your weaknesses. Plus, I didn’t have time for this stuff in the fall. I had a full class load and football on top of it. So I swept my depression under the rug and promised to revisit it after the season.  Which worked…for a while. I started the 2014 season strong. I cracked the starting lineup and held my own for a few games. However, as the season progressed, I suffered a minor injury and my performance began to decline. I didn’t finish the season like I had hoped. Then everything started to unravel.  When I returned from winter break, all of the familiar symptoms resurfaced. The bottom line is that I didn’t care about anything at all. Then it got worse.

Read it all, and especially his wise words at the end. Kudos to Sean Welsh for sharing his story. Please share it with someone you love.

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