We were honored to have Clint Malarchuk and his wife, Joanie Malarchuk, as keynote speakers at the 2015 Annual OCD Conference in Boston last month. Their talk was a powerful testament to the importance of family and a strong support network. But also a powerful reminder about how many obstacles people often have to go through to get the right kind of help. Even if you’re a famous athlete.
Their talk delves into Clint’s struggles with PTSD, severe OCD, and substance abuse — as well as Joanie’s challenge to help Clint find effective help. And try to maintain a strong marriage throughout all of it.
As Clint explains at one point in the address:
The problem with mental illness or OCD — or any of these issues, I think — and addiction, is that it works. For me, alcohol worked — for a while. Not very long, but there was that little reprieve of anxiety decreasing or obsessions subsiding a little bit. And now you’re chasing it. Because your anxiety would come back so you’re chasing it. What was three beers that might’ve worked was then six and then nine and then twelve…pretty soon it’s an all-day thing and now you develop a dependency. So I’ve basically got two different illnesses now, you know, alcoholism and my mental illness. It was spiraling fast. I was getting very, very desperate.
Clint, now retired from the NHL, is also the author of A Matter of Inches: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond, and works as a certified equine dentist and chiropractor. Joanie is a professional skating coach. Together, they have been outspoken and effective mental health advocates.
And then join the online Q&A during OCD Awareness Week where Clint and Joanie will be answering your questions live as part of our #OCDchat series. Click here to learn more.