PGA Professional tour golfer Andrew Jensen talks about his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. The video talks about how sharing more, being a man of more words saved his life and have made him a lot happier.
Andrew explains that as he grew up he was on the inside running from it all, pretending to be confident, hiding from his feelings, and acting a role. He says he convinced everyone that he was fine while on the inside he struggled with deep self-worth, loathing, depressive periods, and self-isolation.
Andrew didn’t like himself
The challenge, he said in an interview with male mental health advocate Movember, is that he never liked himself. He said that he was a good enough golfer so he could hide behind that. As long as he could get a good score, he could feel good enough to get through the day but it never lasted. He never truly felt good about himself.
He said it was a tactic that worked until he made it onto the PGA tour.
How the PGA tour heightened Andrew’s depression
On the professional stage, Jensen’s pain and private struggles were hard to hide from the world. The intense competition lead to anxiety and high stress. Andrew also found the tour lonely and his depression became more intense.
One would imagine it would be tough to feel like a professional, the envy of many, playing in front of crowds, when you feel down and yourself and your life. This would only cause further pressure, stress, and deeper depression.
Andrew says the tour made it so that he couldn’t hide his pain any longer.
Two Suicide Attempts in a three-week span
Andrew stood on the top of a building for the second time in three weeks, prepared to throw himself off. Common sense overtook his desire to end things. He decided to first try to share everything his was feeling with others. To talk about his experience as much as possible.
He began to share with people around him how dark his day to day experience was and all of the feelings he was going through that he thought were crazy.
Despite his fear of being judged
Andrew spoke up, to friends, to his girlfriend, to a therapist, and anyone else that would listen. He said in this interview with Vice: “As a man, it’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to be lost and to feel weak. That doesn’t mean that you are weak! You are already strong and sharing makes you stronger.
And recommends that you too become a man of more words.
Other PGA tour professionals have opened up about depression
It’s not just Andrew Jensen. Popular PGA Pros like Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn and the jolly, Andrew “Beef” Johnston have both shared their struggles with depression.