In a new interview in Bleacher Report, the Houston Astros pitcher revealed that his wife acted as a major source of strength when he went through a depressive episode after he injured his shoulder.
“She was instrumental in me not … like, jumping off a bridge,” he said in the interview.
“I was depressed and kind of just upset at the world and trying to hide my own sh*t … F*ck, man. She was what I needed,” he said.
One of the most helpful things she did, Verlander explained, was simply listen. “I don’t like to talk to people about being hurt. As athletes, you’re not supposed to. It’s an excuse,” he said. "But she was someone I could talk to. I mean, basically a therapist. Somebody I could trust with…worries about my career. Worries about, can I make it? Worries about what I’m going through to get back. And just the overall sh*ttiness of it all.”
Having plenty of experience dealing with harassment, hate, and body-shaming as a famous model, Upton knew very well what Verlander was going through when trolls started attacking him on social media. “She obviously had dealt with more than me in her life,” Verlander told Bleacher Report. “I mean, being a woman? Being in that industry? Being that famous? That was a level I hadn’t dealt with.”
“When someone attacked me, I knew I was living my life a healthy way,” Upton said in the interview. “Those comments mean nothing.”
Every relationship is different, but if you find that you’re leaning on your partner for this level of support, it may also be a good idea to look into professional support.
As SELF wrote previously, the go-to treatment for depression is usually therapy, medication, or some combination of the two. And having your social support system to talk to day-to-day can make a huge difference. But if you find that you're consistently using your friends, family, or partner as a therapist, that's a sign that you should probably also seek out the help of an actual therapist.
Men are often hesitant to seek out mental health treatment, partly due to the stigma, but seeing a therapist, counselor, or some other type of trained mental health professional is generally the first step to feeling better. So it's great to see Verlander so openly talking about what he's gone through.