Dak Prescott sought help for anxiety, depression in the offseason

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After Dak Prescott‘s older brother, Jace, died in April, the Cowboys quarterback sank into an anxiety and a depression he had never previously felt. Prescott talked at length Thursday about seeking help.

“When you have thoughts that you’ve never had, I think that’s more so than anything a chance to realize it and recognize it, to be vulnerable about it,” Prescott said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “Talked to my family, talked to the people around me simply as I did at the time. Some of them obviously had dealt with it before, was able to have those conversations and then reach out further just to more people.

“I think being open about it and not holding those feelings in was one of the better things for me.”

Prescott discussed the death of his brother, who committed suicide, in an episode of “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” that will air this weekend. During a clip released by the show Wednesday, Prescott said his 31-year-old brother had “a lot of burdens on him,” including being the primary caregiver after their mother, Peggy, died of colon cancer in 2013.

On Thursday, Prescott spent six minutes of his 10:30-minute press conference speaking about mental health.

This offseason, Prescott spoke with Chad Bohling, a sports psychologist with the New York Yankees whom former coach Jason Garrett had visit the Cowboys.

“I’m a people person. I’m somebody that likes to be around people. I like to inspire. I like to put a smile on people’s faces, day in and day out, and I like to lead,” Prescott said. “When that’s taken away from you simply because you’re forced to quarantine and not be around people and get around people as much as you would like to, yeah, it’s tough.

“As I explained, it creates new emotions. Emotions that I’ve never felt before but obviously dealt with. And I obviously got the help that I needed and was very open about it. I think that’s why I was fortunate to get over it, as not all are. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to sit here and dwell on the things that were a struggle for me when I know I’m very fortunate and blessed and other people have it much more worse. But just to be transparent about it, that even in my situation, emotions and those type of things, can overcome you if you don’t do something about it.”

Prescott hopes by speaking out he can help others who face similar feelings. He stressed how important it is to talk to someone and to seek help.

“It saves lives,” Prescott said.

13 responses to “Dak Prescott sought help for anxiety, depression in the offseason

  1. I am not a fan of his as a player and think he is overrated. But that’s just football. Big deal. I am deeply sympathetic to Mr. Prescott and salute him for openly seeking the help I refused to seek when I needed it, out of foolish pride. My sister died 3 and a half years ago. I miss her terribly and have had some real emptiness since she has been gone. I don’t wish that emptiness on anyone and that waste of airtime guy who criticized him should be ashamed of himself.

  2. I’m not a big fan of Dak the quarterback but he seems to be a good person, and I’m happy to read that he was able to openly talk about these issues and that he got help when he needed it.

    We easily forget that these athletes in person are rarely how we perceive them just by reading about them or seeing sound bytes on TV.

  3. Good for you young man. Anyone who has gone through what he did would probably also need a shoulder to lean on. Strong enough to acknowledge he had difficulties and just had to get some help.

  4. Mr. Prescott is a beacon of light for all people to look up to for recognizing a human flaw and addressing it head on, I listened to that interview and was brought to tears to feel what he and his family had to go through and deal with.

    A genuine person indeed and I tip my hat to him

  5. I hope he is okay. Mental problems affect people of all ages and all professions. It’s good he recognized this and sought help. I hope to see him do ads such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is doing to help others.
    Not a Cowboys fan, but rooting for Prescott.

  6. As a role model for young adults, this public admission could literally save lives. In contrast, skip Bayless’ thoughtless “take” could cost lives.

  7. First of all Skip Brainless is a complete moron for what he said, secondly i am stunned that there are people out there that put a thumbs down on other people’s well wishes and comments for Dak, i know a lot of people dislike Dak & the Cowboys but this is human life & we should all support him for the tragedy’s he has gone through.
    I hope none of you clowns who put the thumbs down have to suffer mental illness, it is one of the worst things someone can go through, i have a family member who is going though it for many years & it is very sad to watch.

  8. Should have signed the $33 million a year contract when you have the chance.
    Things would get better for you if you have a solid financial future.

  9. I commend Prescott for his openness about this and the really thoughtful way he articulated both his state and how meaningful help was. Away from the ruthless game of avarice that is pro sports, it’s in areas like these where these guys have the potential for meaningful influence.

    Cheers to Dak for his fantastic words and actions and for continued happiness and health – and for continued access to support when he doesn’t have it.

    When the players are ready to expand their current focus beyond one social issue, this would be a good thread to pick up. Mental health is a huge underlying issue in our society, and the game of inequity mentioned above plays a big part in both the pervasiveness of mental trauma and the reasons most people don’t have good resources for help.

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