Friday, September 2, 2011

Gary Lawless' college of not-so-medical knowledge

Basking in his own ignorance about mental illness and depression, Gary Lawless continues to swing punches, pun intended, at Don Cherry, and the "undeniable link" between enforcers' concussion history and their suicides.

I live with major depression and have for years. Gary's columns make me fucking sick.

So what is it Gary, talk about depression (ie the cause of suicide), or throw the punches?

This is beyond lazy journalism. Using these players' deaths to launch onto his own soapbox about fighting in the NHL and his obvious love affair with Don Cherry? Unbelievable.

Could have researched depression. Could have used his position as a major sports journalist in this town to actually educate people. But no, he writes one column about it and it's back to the fictitious medical knowledge of Dr Gary Lawless. He has irrefutable evidence that fighting in hockey, getting less than 12 minutes of game time, and Don Cherry (who only gets 7 minutes a week), cause suicide.

Lawless' has been upstaged. By statistics, by the truth, and by his own colleagues in sports journalism. First and most embarrassingly, by his cohort at the Free Press, Ed Tait, who should be given a medal for this column and effective immediately, replace Lawless on the sports journo hierarchy. An op-ed last week communicated some basics about mental illness. I suppose Lawless doesn't read the newspaper he's published in, might've learned something. Elliotte Friedman, part of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada personalities, is leaps and bounds, and centuries, ahead of Lawless with his article published on the CBC today.

Lastly, Gary might have been astute to check the comments of Wade Belak's mother:

"...he never had any bad concussions that we know of — he had bumps and bruises of course — but no noticeable concussions that we know of," she added.

Undeniable link, eh?

What was that Gary, you had something to add?

Please, let's stop listening to the macho bullying of Don Cherry and his acolytes. They don't know what they are talking about on this subject.


The only person who doesn't know what they're talking about, is you, Gary. You're making a joke out of the mental health community. You're making a joke about depression. You're making a joke out of suicide victims. You're using evidence that isn't there, and you're using these deaths to further your own views on fighting in the NHL, and Don Cherry. Not only are you completely clueless on the subject of depression, your conduct on writing about these incidents is despicable.

In my blog post the other day, I did some very simple and highly conservative math to find that:

1. At least 54 NHL players are living with depression.
2. We should expect 1.6 suicides per year.
3. Not a single NHL player with depression has come forward to speak about it.

I might add, in addition to my last post, the reference to Hannover goalkeeper Robert Enke, who committed suicide. Did he take too many soccer balls to the head? Too rough a sport?

Lawless needs to go to a library ASAP and get a book on depression. Hell, screw the library, Wikipedia will do. Or phone up a doctor who deals with depressed people all day long. Or maybe drop by a Mood Disorders session.

Oh and, Dr Gary? You're welcome to come with me to Selkirk. That is, if you don't think that they show Coach's Corner 24/7 on the TVs there.

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