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      Former quarterback talks coping with depression

      After ten years of playing in the NFL through the â??80s, Lions' quarterback, Eric Hipple, faced a tough transition: going from playing football full time to trying to succeed in a career with a degree he hadnâ??t used in a decade.

      The first few years were a rollercoaster of business success but loss of interest. Just three years after surviving his own suicide attempt, Hippleâ??s 15-year-old son died to suicide, bringing up a term he had for so long refused to acknowledge: depression.

      â??I found out that there are some answers out there, and certainly one of the answers to suicide is finding out and treating, what brain analysts call, depression,â?? said Hipple. â??The earlier the recognition and the earlier the treatment, the better the outcomes are.â??

      Hipple now works for the University of Michiganâ??s Depression Center, speaking to communities about destroying the stigmas behind depression. He said just like in football, what you donâ??t know can hurt you, and itâ??s best to be prepared ahead of time.

      â??You know, itâ??s really hard to understand something if youâ??ve never experienced it,â?? he explained. â??You might logically understand it, but you donâ??t really get it. But what you have to understand is they donâ??t choose to be that way. Itâ??s something thatâ??s happening to them, and so together you can get through it.â??

      Copper Country Mental Health therapists said everyone handles life differently, and itâ??s important to allow them to cope with it the way they cope best.

      â??Helping to normalize a lot of that, to allow people to experience it in their own way and to still support them and not judge them, and to provide hope and support,â?? said outpatient therapist Jennifer Gransell.

      Some symptoms of depression include loss of interest, low mood, hopelessness, â??laziness,â?? and irritability. The best way to help someone cope with depression is to be a strong support system.

      â??Weâ??re all people, we all process, we all need that time to talk about how weâ??re feeling and being open to that,â?? Gransell said.

      â??You can survive, and you can thrive in life,â?? Hipple added.

      For more information about coping with depression, visit the University of Michigan Depression Center website here .