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Robin Lehner Opens Up About His Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism

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Just read this and was coming to post it. For those without a subscription,  ARTICLE IS FREE, GO READ IT

Basically, Lehner has been manic-depressive and drinking to fight it off for at least his whole career. When he was going through a concussion the drinking was the only thing that would help. He said he often had thoughts of suicide, calling them "real and close".

He spent 9 weeks in a rehab facility this summer, originally for the alcoholism, but then was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD, and PTSD. 

He says that Botteril was incredibly supportive of him while he was going through it, even after the team decided to move on, and still calls him to check in. He also says he was glad to move on, that they needed a new start.

This really colors a lot of what we've seen from him. He sounds really positive at the end. Hopefully this helps him.

Edited by sabills
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I really hope things work out well for him.  Credit to him for getting the help he needed; even more credit for opening up about it.  Every time someone opens up about stuff like this, it becomes a little more de-stigmatized.

ALSO, THIS IS A FREE ARTICLE; NO SUBSCRIPTION NEEDED.

Edited by Eleven

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Christ this was sad, I feel so bad for him and his family. I'm glad to see the Sabres were very supportive and that he's now on a better path.

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Good on him.  I truly hope he stays on a better path.  For his family if not for his career.  

 

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I'll say too that, unlike the Players Tribune which always feels ghost-written, this seems like something Lehner penned himself.

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Hopefully, like Malarchuk, this turns his life around.  Can you imagine the player he could be if healthy?  This explains alot about last season.  

Not only does this remind me about Malarchuk, but it also feels like finding out the truth about CoHo.

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In all of sports, does any position see more pressure, day in and and day out?  I can't even imagine trying to deal with that kind of pressure.

Edited by Doohickie

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incredible and explains a lot. I hope Lehner conquers it. What an incredible story to read. 

The article also shows what a classy and great person Jason Botterill is. 

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34 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Hopefully, like Malarchuk, this turns his life around.  Can you imagine the player he could be if healthy?  This explains alot about last season.  

Not only does this remind me about Malarchuk, but it also feels like finding out the truth about CoHo.

Immediately what I thought of.

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Thanks for the post to the article. I hope he keeps his sobriety up for him and his family. I will be rooting for him with the Islanders. 

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Wow.  Good for Robin for opening up about this.  It probably will help others.  I too will be rooting for him with the Isles.

Couple of other thoughts:

- XGMTM saw all this up close in Ottawa and still bet the ranch on Lehner.  Brilliant.

- Not a peep from the WNY media about any of this during Lehner's time here.  Maybe they were covering for him, or, more likely, they were just out to lunch.

- While I'm sympathetic to Lehner, I'm not sure it was OK for him to withhold the information about his condition from the teams he was meeting with over the summer during his job search.

- In response to the comment upthread about the Players' Tribune:  while I'm sure there is some editing/ghostwriting going on, I think many of the articles there are excellent.  This one in particular was amazing:  https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/steve-francis-i-got-a-story-to-tell

 

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This may be a contributing factor for the "toxic room" that was talked about so often, and last year in particular. His teammates had to (or at least should have) seen the signs and symptoms. Being alienated and outcast as a result would fit with the toxicity.

That said, it is good to know he is getting help and it is good to hear that Jbot is offering support.

I hope you get it figured out Robin Lehner. I was quite critical of you last season and now that seems like an idiotic stance. Get healthy and then get back to hockey once you have your life under control. Peace and health be with you.

 

Edited by oregelbundet oregelbunden
bad grammar

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12 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

 

- XGMTM saw all this up close in Ottawa and still bet the ranch on Lehner.  Brilliant.

- Not a peep from the WNY media about any of this during Lehner's time here.  Maybe they were covering for him, or, more likely, they were just out to lunch

Both of these make me so, so, so angry.  I think it altogether possible XGMTM hadn't no clue about what was going on with Lehner the person, or knew damn well and didn't care.  Would fall in line with what we know about him.  This puts Lehner's own words about how JBOTs handled him in perspective, and a positive one.  

The media absolutely had to know, and while I understand not wanting to drag the guy unnecessarily, it has to at some point have come up...

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21 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Wow.  Good for Robin for opening up about this.  It probably will help others.  I too will be rooting for him with the Isles.

Couple of other thoughts:

- XGMTM saw all this up close in Ottawa and still bet the ranch on Lehner.  Brilliant.

- Not a peep from the WNY media about any of this during Lehner's time here.  Maybe they were covering for him, or, more likely, they were just out to lunch.

- While I'm sympathetic to Lehner, I'm not sure it was OK for him to withhold the information about his condition from the teams he was meeting with over the summer during his job search.

- In response to the comment upthread about the Players' Tribune:  while I'm sure there is some editing/ghostwriting going on, I think many of the articles there are excellent.  This one in particular was amazing:  https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/steve-francis-i-got-a-story-to-tell

 

1.  There's not a peep from the WNY media or the media in any other hockey city about the amount of drinking that goes on, and it's a substantial amount.  The drinking culture in the NHL and AHL is HUGE.

2.  Does he say that he withheld this information?  It almost implies the opposite when he says that the Isles "took a chance" on him.

3 minutes ago, Sabel79 said:

Both of these make me so, so, so angry.  I think it altogether possible XGMTM hadn't no clue about what was going on with Lehner the person, or knew damn well and didn't care.  Would fall in line with what we know about him.  This puts Lehner's own words about how JBOTs handled him in perspective, and a positive one.  

The media absolutely had to know, and while I understand not wanting to drag the guy unnecessarily, it has to at some point have come up...

The media didn't bring it up with respect to Gare, or Mogilny, or Connolly, or Peters, or O'Reilly, or probably hundreds of others.

Edited by Eleven

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No surprise except alocholism... even that... given his up and down play, rants and temper.  Still hope for the best glad he has begun to address it and wish him all the best health

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The idea that the media should have somehow “broken” this story is abhorrent to me.

If they knew and didn’t share, they absolutely made the correct call. 

It’s entertainment for us but these are real people with real issues, a fact we seem to constantly lose sight of. 

I suspect this wasn’t the only move Botterill made this summer for reasons not publicly shared.

Edited by dudacek
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Good on him for sharing his struggle. Hopefully it inspires others struggling to do the same. I hope for him that in a few years we're blown away and regretting not having him on the team anymore. 

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7 minutes ago, Eleven said:

1.  There's not a peep from the WNY media or the media in any other hockey city about the amount of drinking that goes on, and it's a substantial amount.  The drinking culture in the NHL and AHL is HUGE.

2.  Does he say that he withheld this information?  It almost implies the opposite when he says that the Isles "took a chance" on him.

The media didn't bring it up with respect to Gare, or Mogilny, or Connolly, or Peters, or O'Reilly, or probably hundreds of others.

1 -- Totally agree, although we do often see players described as "hard-partying" and similar adjectives.

2 -- Here's what he said:

Quote

Those meetings with teams were some of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life, now sober. I couldn’t tell them I was bipolar. I couldn’t tell them anything.

 

3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

The idea that the media should have somehow “broken” this story is abhorrent to me.

If they knew and didn’t share, they absolutely made the correct call. 

Well, IMHO it depends on what hypothetically was withheld.  Manic depression and suicidal thoughts?  Totally agree.  Drinking a case of beer a day plus taking pills?  Not so much.

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1 minute ago, nfreeman said:

1 -- Totally agree, although we do often see players described as "hard-partying" and similar adjectives.

2 -- Here's what he said:

 

Well, IMHO it depends on what hypothetically was withheld.  Manic depression and suicidal thoughts?  Totally agree.  Drinking a case of beer a day plus taking pills?  Not so much.

I missed that quote.  And agree that there's "something there" if he withheld the drug and alcohol issues, but then again, they could have asked him to take a test if they wanted to.

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Also, players may not be legally obligated to disclose mental illness to a team before signing a contract.  In the land of labor law, that's a good thing.

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3 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

Also, players may not be legally obligated to disclose mental illness to a team before signing a contract.  In the land of labor law, that's a good thing.

Yeah, I was thinking HIPAA...

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23 minutes ago, Eleven said:

1.  There's not a peep from the WNY media or the media in any other hockey city about the amount of drinking that goes on, and it's a substantial amount.  The drinking culture in the NHL and AHL is HUGE.

2.  Does he say that he withheld this information?  It almost implies the opposite when he says that the Isles "took a chance" on him.

The media didn't bring it up with respect to Gare, or Mogilny, or Connolly, or Peters, or O'Reilly, or probably hundreds of others.

Sure brought it up with EKane though

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