Those of us who haven’t had mental illness touch our lives can’t really relate to it too well. I understand, intellectually, what clinical depression is, but I don’t understand it practically. And so when I hear things like “Justin Duchscherer suffers from clinical depression” — as I did in late 2009 — I didn’t really understand the depths of it, nor could I.
But Duchscherer sat for an interview with Men’s Journal recently (the link goes to an excerpt; the article hits the newsstands today) in which he talks about his depression, what it has and still does do to him and how he deals. Eye-opening stuff:
“My problem is I’m a soft guy in a profession of hard guys,” Duchscherer tells the publication. “I’d prefer to be playing tennis.
“People think if you’re rich, you must be happy. They can’t understand why you’re not. I feel guilty making so much money playing a game. If I pitch a shutout, it doesn’t make me happy. I think of the guys I struck out, how they’re going home, depressed, to their families.”
It’s serious business when what ails you does more than merely drag you down but, rather, makes a full frontal assault on the job you’re supposed to be doing. I can’t imagine how someone functions like that. Especially Duchscherer, who goes on to talk about how he doesn’t like and doesn’t take medication.