Wrestling with Mental Health – Todd Eastman

By Todd Eastman

When I thought about writing this piece I considered doing it anonymously, and if you see this posted that way then I obviously didn’t feel comfortable enough to put my name to it.

Mental health is hard, the wars a lot of us battle inside our heads are more brutal than any death match that you’ve ever seen and we do this every day. 

Statistically we lose 9 people a day to suicide with men leading the charge over women in that stat. It’s a real problem that we address but we don’t really address it at all, we notice it, we all know it’s a problem, our lives have all in one way or another at this point are affected by it but still we sort of put it in the too hard basket instead of making real steps to change the stigma. 

What does this have to do with wrestling I hear you ask yourself as you read on… while wrestling is amazing and we absolutely love what we do, you have to when you devote as much time as we do to it for next to no money but it can also be a very superficial business, we all talk about it being a big family and for the most part it can be but at the end of the day everyone strives for individual success and a lot of times when we do struggle mentally the support isn’t there. 

A lot of us suffer from body dysmorphia ”I’ll never look like that guy”, paranoia “Do I have heat with this guy” “does the booker hate me?” or  jealousy “why is X in this spot and not me?”. For some feeling like they are stuck in a position where they can’t advance can become mentally all consuming.

We need to as an industry support one another and I know it’s hard as it can be a political game but the phrase a rising tide lifts all ships is very true. 

Wrestlers, I know it’s hard at times because we all want to be the best, in the main event all the titles etc but celebrate your friend’s successes and get around them when they’re not doing the best, ask them how they’re going and listen to their answer often times “I’m ok man” is really a “I’m not doing the best” and needs a push to open up and talk about their problems. Don’t try and solve them, just listen sometimes that’s all we need.

Fans, we love your support and I know you buy your ticket so you can have fun but be a little respectful, you never know when a derogatory remark to a male or female wrestler is the last thing that person needs to hear that night. Heels want your boo’s they want you to hate them but there’s abusing the bad guy and ABUSING the bad guy.

I guess what I’m saying no, more imploring everyone is that we need to look out for one another, really look out for them. If you notice something off about a friend ask them if they’re ok they’ll try and brush you off but dig a little deeper. If you’re the one going through a hard time and someone asks TELL THEM if you’re not doing the best you don’t have to go into specific details but get off your chest what’s rattling around in your head nine times out of ten you’ll feel better for it.

We only get one run at this people so let’s all get through it together because I’m personally sick of hearing or reading about another soul leaving this earth before their time because they didn’t think they belonged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *