Mental Health

Just to forewarn everyone reading this I really think I’d regret it if I didn’t use this platform to talk about something that I have a personal interest in and experience with. Mental health, to me, is something that I think a lot about and I think a lot of people should. Everyone has battles they go through and adversity they face. Some more than others. We all handle it differently too, and in this world it’s so easy to fall into a really negative space. My mom is a psychotherapist so growing up I was always around her office and saw the work she did and the people she was able to help. That was a huge reason I studied psychology at Stanford. Seeing her ability to help people spoke to me…and like anyone growing up I experienced a lot of hard times and her expertise helped me so much. Not only did my desire to help people push me towards that study path…but almost my entire life my mental health has been something I’ve struggled with, and still do to this day. That’s something I’ve never revealed to many people…especially on a platform like this! I don’t expect or want sympathy in any way shape or form, I’m just hoping that I can speak to even just one person and show that we all have struggles. And maybe I can offer a little advice to help a few more along the way. Now, this topic isn’t completely out of the blue. It’s not like I woke up this morning and thought to myself, “I’m gonna write about mental health today.” Tonight the team and I were lucky enough to interact with season ticket holders at an event in the arena. Not only was this a great experience for them, but trust me it goes both ways. Being able to see first hand and up close the type of support we receive is indescribable. There was a moment during photo opportunities with teammates that I caught myself being disappointed and saddened by reactions from fans others were receiving compared to myself. In that moment I caught myself and thought to myself about why that bothered me so much. I think in my profession and in so many other people’s lives we find ourselves looking for love and appreciation from outside sources. I thought about the family and the friends that I have and that they love me and wondered why love from strangers, or perceived lack thereof, would affect me so much. I’m not perfect and this isn’t an epiphany that’s going to fix everything but I think it’s a start. It’s so easy to fall into a trap in which we crave approval from around us and when that doesn’t match our expectations, we believe there’s something wrong with us, leading to frustration, depression, anxiety, etc. I’m honestly writing this as much for me as I am for you. We all need a reminder that the only love we need comes from within and those closest to us. Hopefully this can be yours.

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Photo credit: Zach Beeker
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13 thoughts on “Mental Health

  1. I’m sorry you had that experience, but I want to tell you how today was a three-fer for me. Earlier today I told several people about your blog, suggesting they read it. And the ones that did got back to me that they really liked it. Then a few hours later, by coincidence, I received in the mail an autographed picture of you. (Btw I had a chance to pick yours or another well-known player and I picked you!)
    Then at the season ticket party. Out of all the players you were the one I actually ran into and were able to talk to. So I was a pretty happy fan today. Thank you for being you.

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  2. Josh I appreciate the path you have chosen and find it ironic. Back in 2009/2010 I witnessed my younger brother compete against you in a slam dunk contest in Havre, MT HIT and again at the Univetsity of Great Falls where he jumped over a couple players in that competition. Seeing a promising future cut short by suicide, in 2012 Isaiah Martin lost his battle with what ever mental health issue he was facing. We live only with the memories and the pictures, but they will last forever.

    Keep on this path into mental health issues, finding cures and easements can only help.

    Congratulations on your success.

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    • I’ll never forget going head to head with Isaiah. He was an amazing player. When I heard about his passing it was terrible but I hope he found peace. Thank you so much for the support CJ

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  3. Thanks for writing about this. I’ve struggled with this more recently than ever before. Mental health is so very important and not talked about nearly enough.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I was excited to see you at the event tonight. I wanted to mention this blog, but didn’t want to take up too much of your time. 🙂

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  4. Very thoughtful comments. And remember that you have fans out here who are rooting for you, know how hard you are working, as evidenced by how good your 3-pt shooting has now become, and hope you soon get a real chance with the Thunder–or elsewhere if not here. Good luck to you, from a fan.

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  5. Hey Josh,

    Awesome of you to be aware of this. I was the asshole that was putting you on the spot about fred katz tonight lmao anyway the interaction I had meant alot more to me than you could imagine. This is the first year I’ve been a thunder season holder. I bought the tickets with a disability back pay check from the VA. I am 100 percent disabled from the VA due to mental health issues. I’m glad you have such awareness for this issue in particular because it’s an invisible disability. There are some days I wish I was missing a limb instead of having problems with anxiety and all that good stuff because then it would be a visible thing. Most people say “there doesn’t look like anything is wrong with you” and it’s very sad to know people aren’t more educated on the topic. It seems that you are passionate about this subject so I challenge you to get involved more with it. Use your role as a public figure to make a difference if this is something you are passionate for. Oklahoma is one of the worst states when it comes to mental health so I know anything that can be done would be helpful. It was nice to meet you tonight, great article, and thunder up!

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  6. I stumbled across your blog today and I’m really impressed with how open you are about your struggles. I’m glad you realized the fan reactions aren’t that significant especially when a lot of them haven’t been able to see you in action. After watching you play I appreciate your hustle and it’s clear how hard you try and how much you expect of yourself. Keep working hard and the opportunity to prove yourself will come. I look forward to seeing you get more playing time even if it’s not with the Thunder.

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  7. Josh, I appreciate you opening up about this. I’m a supporter of yours for a couple of reasons. I’ve always liked Stanford and also you just seem like a nice, humble and down-to-earth guy. Your understanding and support of mental health adds to that. But really, the reason I follow your career and honestly why I even know who you are is because of Bill Dean.
    I used to work Bill–and wow, what an amazing man he was. He used to tell me all about his son was a talented soccer player and how his brother was just as good at basketball. As humble as he was about himself, when he talked about you and Christian, he couldn’t be more proud and it was obvious from the way he would beam when talking about you.

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  8. Josh, thank you for writing this…I just wanted to say, I’m a season ticket member and have always been a big fan! (Consequently, I also have a degree in psychology, and I work as an advocate for at-risk foster kids–which is all of them.) You clearly have a lot of talent and much to offer both on and off the court. I look forward to seeing your career develop and hope to see more of you next season! Wishing you well!

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