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Behind the Mask - Lehner's Fight Against Mental Illness

2020-01-26T07:13:10.162Z

Robin Lehner is a sober alcoholic and former drug addict. He has ADHD, is bipolar and struggles with post traumatic stress syndrome. He is also one of the world's best ice hockey goalkeepers. - I drank to quench my anxiety. When I sipped, I calmed down, says Chicago's star goalkeeper to SVT Sport.



Robin Lehner made a big success last year in the New York Islanders when he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy, the prize that goes to the NHL's best goalkeeper. But earlier in the season he had been admitted to a treatment center under secret conditions. His alcohol and drug abuse had then taken over his life completely. The situation was untenable.

- I drank to quench my anxiety. As I sipped, I calmed down. That was the only thing I knew. It was the only thing that made me feel good.

Bipolar disorder means that he commutes between mania and depression for long periods of time.

- When I am manic, I see nothing but what I am currently interested in. I'm zooming in. I can't think of my children, my wife.

When he was admitted to the NHL's rehabilitation program, everything ended.

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Lehner: "Everything should be quiet in the NHL - no problem"

- I give the NHL a lot of support for what they do, awesome guys who helped me incredibly, but the NHL is big business. In business, if you show weakness then you are fucked. I understand that side.

Every now and then he was faced with a choice.

- I chose the transparency. I did it for my family and for my children. I knew it could ruin for me but I really had no choice.

Robin has now replaced the alcohol with prescription drugs. Robin Lehner is also diagnosed with ADHD. Which means he has concentration difficulties. Thanks to medication, he now has the ability to regulate his letter combination.

- The sick thing is that when I was manic I was often a good goalkeeper.

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Lehner: "When I was manic I became a better player"

- I can't be ashamed of what I wear. Now that everyone knows, I can handle the problems. I put up walls that prevent me from falling back into the abuse trap. Talking to you is a wall. That my teammates know is another. To make continuous urine tests a third. That way I avoid getting wrong.

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So Lehner handled alcoholism

After moving from New York to Chicago, he continued to play high quality. Statistically, he is one of the NHL's best goalkeepers. Highly acclaimed by both media and fans. He wants more people to open up and seek help before it's too late. Everyone wears something and it has to be processed.

- When someone comes to me and asks today; how are you? Then I answer honestly. Damn, I'm not feeling well, I have anxiety. Suddenly it is ok for the other party to open up with their problems. This is where it starts, when there is a trust.

See the full report here.

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Section 1 Photo: SVT

You can find advice and support about mental illness here.

Source: svt

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