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Justin Duchscherer talks about his depression

Dec 30, 2009, 6:00 PM EDT

Newly-signed Athletics’ starter Justin Duchscherer participated in a conference call with local reporters today. The Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that he discussed his battle with depression at length during the call and has some of the details and flavor of it all here.

Dealing with depression is a tough enough row to hoe, but the fact that Duchscherer did it (a) without the aid of anti-depressants, which he felt wouldn’t be the best thing for an athlete’s body; and (b) did it away from his team and day-to-day routine due to his injury rehab makes his rebound all the more remarkable.

I don’t see many A’s games back east, but I think I’m going to make a point to seek out the Duchscherer starts this coming season.  He sounds like someone worth rooting for.

  1. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Dec 31, 2009 at 8:44 AM

    Sadly, I think if he struggles, this will be used against him (see Willis, Dontrelle). As a society, we’re still not to the point where mental illness/disability is universally viewed as a medical problem as opposed to a weakness in character.

  2. ecp - Dec 31, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Just so long as we don’t slight those who do use the antidepressants, and having been down a bit of this road myself, I’d like to point one thing out: There’s a marginal difference from those who have bouts of depression triggered by specific events (like Duchscherer and Joey Votto) as opposed to those who have a chemical imbalance in the brain and struggle with depression their entire lives (Zack Greinke and, I’m guessing, Kahlil Greene). Antidepressants work to stabilize those imbalances and full recovery may not be possible for some individuals without them. Conversely, the likelihood of recovery without drugs may be higher when mental issues arise from life events.

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