By the time he was twenty-two years old, goaltender Corey Hirsch had realized his childhood dream of playing in the NHL, won an Olympic medal and drunk from the Stanley Cup. While he excelled on the ice, out of the net Hirsch was plagued by persistent dark thoughts and ceaseless anxiety. On days when he could barely get out of bed, he was able to push aside the endless loop of dark thoughts running inside his brain long enough to win a game. But as soon as he got back home, the agonizing cycle started all over again. And it continued, until finally he was able to confide in a team trainer who helped him get the professional treatment he needed.
In this keynote based on his best selling novel, Hirsch shares his journey with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the rocky road to recovery. As Hirsch says, “I am not insane. I am not a bad person. I am not weak. I have an illness, and there is a treatment.”
When Corey Hirsch went public with his story about struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, he was was terrified that people wouldn’t understand. He was worried that no one would want to hire him ever again, and that doors would close — and maybe worst of all, that people in the hockey community would look at him like he was damaged goods, that he would never work in hockey again.
After his story went out into the world, well … his fears couldn’t have been further from reality. Hirsch was absolutely blown away by how many people reached out through text and email and Twitter to say that they’d struggled with similar thoughts and feelings for years.
There’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. We’re all just trying to get through the day. So let’s be open. Let’s talk about it.
- It’s OK to talk about depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts
- Getting proper help is everything
- How to create an environment where it’s more than OK for athletes – or anyone – to talk about mental health issues
When Corey’s mental health was at it’s worst he would spend days in bed, telling himself that if he ever got through this he would share his story. He would search for any form of hope, anything he could hang his hat on that he wouldn’t have to spend the rest of his life like this. In bed, struggling with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
Now he’s here to help others who are experiencing the same struggle. It took a lot of work to get where he is, and there were some very hard days. Through all that darkness, through all that pain, he came out on the other side, and you will too.
- How to keep going, even when you’re discouraged
- How to find hope and hold onto it
- How to work through the hard days to come out the other side