'Like any other injury': UPEI hockey player shares story of mental illness
'Just cause you can't see a mental illness doesn't mean it's not there and not real'
The din of the compressor, hum of the bright lights, the chill in the air, the hockey rink may not be everyone's idea of home. It is to Teagan Pringle, and the place she's most comfortable talking about her mental illness.
"Like any other injury to the body you know it's an up and down process," said the fourth year student and UPEI Panthers hockey player. "The brain is so unpredictable compared to other injuries unfortunately."
Pringle's depression and anxiety has been building for years. In the last 12 months it became too much — school, maintaining the schedule of a high performance athlete and performing on ice overwhelmed her.
"It was an unsustainable manner and way of life," Pringle said of her decision to eventually check into hospital. "Just cause you can't see a mental illness doesn't mean it's not there and not real."
Making it official
The Glenboro, Man., native only received an official diagnosis last January, major depressive disorder.
She learned the triggers and how to deal with the daily stresses, and to balance it all. She's writing her feelings down in a journal, and a day planner is a constant companion.
"I'm graduating this year and you would think by that time you're able to depict the brain and all that's happening," added Pringle, of her psychology/sociology double major. "It helps me get a better understanding of like reality versus what is happening because of my illness."
Pringle said days like Bell Let's Talk day can be a bit overwhelming, especially when there are 364 other days to talk about mental illness.
"You know I'm so much more comfortable speaking about it," she said of her work helping others on campus. "I've gotten involved in some great opportunities around mental illness."
Later this week Pringle is taking another step. For the first time in months she's lacing up her skates and hitting the ice. She wants to share her experience with another person having a tough time, doing it where she's most at home.
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