Article submitted by Cameron Brosh December 21, 2018
December 21, 2018 — Cameron Brosh
Opening up about mental illness in sports is something I have never done. With that being said, I am a student athlete at the University of Maryland (greatest place in the world). Too often people see me happy, loud, even laughing and just assume all is well in my life. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is, that wasn't the case for me. Far from it actually.
Beginning my freshmen year of college, I started with depression and anxiety, and didn't really understand why. Nothing really went terribly wrong in my life, so I felt like I was fine. However, I didn't want to be anywhere in public, the only places I really felt comfortable was with my roommates in the basement, and alone in my room. Essentially, I was just in denial, and just tried to toughen it out and fake it. This was no help to me, and only made matters worse.
The field I loved so much playing lacrosse on, felt like a nightmare every time I walked out on it, starting my freshmen year and continuing to this fall. I had no confidence and just felt out of place. Friends and family would always ask me how lacrosse was going, and I felt like the biggest disappointment not being able to give them an answer along the lines of, "I'm playing great!".
Every time I jumped in the goal to help the defense out, my vision went blurry, and thoughts of failure just rushed through my head. I could not focus on a single thing besides my own thoughts. I was so stuck in my head, and I could not get past it. Every goal I let in, I felt as if I let so many people down, even if it was just practice. A shot coming at 10mph felt like 300mph, and I had no idea what was going on.
Thankfully, I had a heart to heart (tough for a college dude) with my trainer Anthony (greatest dude in the world!). I let him know everything, and to this day it was the greatest decision I ever made. I needed help bad, yet never wanted to admit it. I guess it was a pride thing for me, ya know? I'm a goalie, I should be the toughest on the field. I don't feel pain, or so I thought. I soon realized that help was the only answer. I felt much tougher being able to open up about it with another man, then simply hiding it and faking it.
Meeting with the school sports psychologist was the best thing for me, I feel as if she completely changed my life along with the help of other doctors, coaches, and family. To this date I've kept it a secret all along, like so many others battling the same mental battle with themselves. My advice, reach out to someone you trust. It will change your life! I look forward to this coming spring with my teammates, and a chance to finally feel like myself again. Go Terps, till the day I die!
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