Kudos to NFL defensive lineman Derek Wolfe for his self-disclosure about painful depression that threatened his career and his life. But, there is more to this story. Wolfe’s depression followed a rather severe physical injury that he feared could have been career-ending. Were it not for the outstanding medical care that pro player status affords, his subsequent depression might have been ignored.
Consider the transition that our public and commercial insurance plans are going through now to integrate physical and behavioral healthcare. Client care managers, primary care physicians, and mental health practitioners are still only at the front-end of recognizing how chronic conditions like cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, and physical pain are further complicated by depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairments . . . sometimes secondary to meds, and other times due to the insult of the diseases and conditions themselves. Too bad we all can’t get the kind of care professional athletes get.