Fox Sports Commentator Jay Glazer Opens Up About His Mental Health Journey
Football and MMA commentator Jay Glazer, who’s serving as the NFL Insider for FOX NFL Sunday, calls his experience with depression and anxiety “The Gray.” He describes The Gray as this overall crushing feeling that can make even getting up in the morning a significant challenge.
“For me, when it’s bad, I feel like the sky is falling and everybody hates me and everybody wants the worst for me,” Glazer says. “And I’m a big faith guy — I know God loves me. The universe doesn’t hate me, but it’s hard to grasp. But then I also feel it physically. When it acts up, I feel it behind my ribcage. I feel it in the left side of my gut really bad. And then I feel it in my joints pretty damn nasty, like I just got through a 50-round fight.”
For Men’s Health’s weekly Instagram series Friday Sessions, Glazer sat down with psychiatrist and Men’s Health adviser Dr. Drew Ramsey to talk about his personal mental health journey, including dealing with The Gray and coming out on the other side.
The sports commentator recently published a book titled “Unbreakable,” in which he discusses his experience with depression and anxiety for the first time publicly. In the book, he describes coping with The Gray and moving toward The Blue, which are happier and more sustainable times where mental health concerns aren’t as all-consuming.
“I wanted to give people an out,” Glazer told Dr. Ramsey about the book. “I wanted to give them a guide. I wanted to help guide them to The Blue because we freakin’ deserve The Blue.”
Part of that guide involves Glazer sharing the coping mechanisms he’s developed throughout his mental health journey. To get through The Gray, Glazer he leans on his “team” of family and friends and prioritizes being of service to gain a sense of purpose.
“When you’re of service, it’s hard for the roommates in your head to tell you what a piece of garbage you are,” he said.
During the conversation, Glazer shared that during a recent bad day, he called four friends to talk about how he was struggling, asking a few to come over and help him get through the day. But then he called four other friends to check in on them and see how they were doing, prioritizing the mental health of others to better his own.
“Nobody has told me I’m a wuss,” Glazer said of talking to his friends, including Micheal Strahan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, about his mental health struggles. “Nobody has told me to suck it up. Nobody has said, ‘Oh Jay, your life is great. Stop.’ Nobody.”
It’s that exact fear of being considered “unmanly” for being vulnerable or being burdensome that causes many men from speaking out about their own emotional struggles. Glazer wants to see that shift, noting that the mindset is especially ingrained in the sports field. Though he’s personally trained football players and MMA fighters to not show when they are tired or hurt as a sporting strategy, he’s the first to say translating that lesson to everyday life can be harmful.
“You’re pain is real,” he said during the Friday Sessions interview. “Don’t think that everybody is too busy for you because they aren’t. They want to help.”
And though Glazer’s mental health is still a daily struggle for him, he has found ways to be “relentless” in the pursuit of life — even on his Gray days.
“The more we can lift each other, the more we can climb out of this hole together,” he said, adding, “I did not sign up for this crap. I did not sign up for it. The only thing I can do is fight it.”
Watch the full talk in the video below:
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