Playing Hurt by John Saunders
My Journey from Despair to Hope

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The late John Saunders had a much more difficult life than any of us could have dreamed. He tells the story of his battles with depression and other issues here. This is not beach reading, but certainly there's a dramatic story here that is worth telling.
-Sports Book Review Center

Synopsis

For the first time ever, the popular late host of ESPN's The Sports Reporters and ABC's college football openly discusses a lifelong battle with depression.

During his three decades on ESPN and ABC, John Saunders became one of the nation's most respected and beloved sportscasters. In this moving, jarring, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Saunders discusses his troubled childhood, the traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2011, and the severe depression that nearly cost him his life. As Saunders writes,

Playing Hurt is not an autobiography of a sports celebrity but a memoir of a man facing his own mental illness, and emerging better off for the effort. I will take you into the heart of my struggle with depression, including insights into some of its causes, its consequences, and its treatments.

I invite you behind the facade of my apparently "perfect" life as a sportscaster, with a wonderful wife and two healthy, happy adult daughters. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am truly grateful. But none of these things can protect me or anyone else from the disease of depression and its potentially lethal effects.

Mine is a rare story: that of a black man in the sports industry openly grappling with depression. I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly, including the lengths I've gone to to conceal my private life from the public.

So why write a book? Because I want to end the pain and heartache that comes from leading a double life. I also want to reach out to the millions of people, especially men, who think they're alone and can't ask for help.

John Saunders died suddenly on August 10 ,2016, from an enlarged heart, diabetes, and other complications. This book is his ultimate act of generosity to help those who suffer from mental illness, and those who love them.


 

About John Saunders

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Joseph M. Rey, MD, PhD, FRANZCP, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, has worked helping children, teenagers and their families in Sydney, Australia, for more than 25 years. Dr Rey has been extensively involved in the management of services, teaching and training of family physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and other professionals, and has published numerous research and educational papers, as well as several books, on child and adolescent mental disorders including substance use disorders.John B. Saunders, MD, FRACP, FRCP is a professor and consultant physician in internal medicine and addiction medicine. His career as a clinician, service director, researcher and academic in the alcohol and drug field in Britain and Australia extends back 35 years. He has worked with the World Health Organization for many years and was responsible for developing the AUDIT questionnaire. He is a member of WHO's Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and was Co-Chair of the DSM V Substance USE Disorders Workgroup from 2003 to 2007. He has published two books and over 300 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters.
 
Published August 8, 2017 by Da Capo Press. 328 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Humor & Entertainment, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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Excellent
Reviewed by Budd Bailey on Jul 19 2017

The late John Saunders had a much more difficult life than any of us could have dreamed. He tells the story of his battles with depression and other issues here. This is not beach reading, but certainly there's a dramatic story here that is worth telling.

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