Professional Wrestling – The Best Medicine For My Anxiety

Added by Ben Shaw

For many of us, we deal with mental health issues on a daily basis. Issues that make us feel low, anxious and tired among other horrid feelings. As a result, even the smallest distraction from our minds can be welcoming. For me, professional wrestling (particularly attending shows) has always been the best medicine for my anxiety.

It’s no surprise that many people become enthralled by wrestling, when you consider just how much goes into it. From the fantastic athletes that do all they can to put on a show for you, to the stories that are told both in and out of the ring to the atmosphere generated by the crowd.

We get the chance to support the men and women that put their bodies on the line for us and for fans of indy wrestling in particular, we get to see those men and women grow. Sometimes without even noticing it, we’re filled with joy at seeing a talent that we’ve watched for years receive praise on a national and global scale.

The rise of Marty Scurll and Zack Sabre (Labour) Jr has been one of the biggest joys for me in wrestling over the course of the 2010’s. Having watched ZSJ since 2008 and Scurll since 2011; seeing the wrestling world talk about ‘Zacky 3 Belts’ and ‘The Villain’ makes me feel genuinely happy. Getting to see those that put smiles on our faces progress makes us feel proud, which isn’t something that happens all too often when you’re dealing with anxiety and/or depression.

When it comes to my anxiety, attending wrestling shows has worked almost like magic in terms of helping me to forget I even suffer from a mental health disorder. During a rough period I was going through earlier this year, I was set to attend Revolution Pro’s High Stakes event by myself. Whilst on my way to York Hall, I suffered a panic attack and those that have experienced one before know just how awful it is. All alone and not yet at the venue, I was ready to call it quits for the day and head home. That was my head talking and as cliché as it may sound, my heart was saying something different. My heart was telling me that there was no way I’d want to miss the Leaders of the New School finally facing off in a grudge match or the epic first time ever bout between Katsuyori Shibata and Matt Riddle.

Fast forward to later that night and as I exited York Hall, I was on a natural high that only comes from seeing a great night of wrestling. Experiencing 3 hours of wrestling live had managed to help me forget about how rough things had been with my mental health and just allowed me to enjoy myself for one night. If I’d been going to something other than wrestling then there’s a good chance I’d have gone with my brain and headed home, however my love for wrestling was too strong for me to ignore.

Even during moments of loneliness, wrestling has managed to pick me up and put a smile on my face. Having attended Fight Club Pro’s DTTI event at Bush Hall a couple months ago, I went into the show relatively down as I was attending the show by myself (I’ve attended shows alone before, however I’ve always found it a better experience alongside a friend or two). Fast forward to the end of the ridiculously entertaining six man tag between British

Strong Style and Jimmy Havoc, Marty Scurll & Sami Callihan and all I could do was smile and think to myself “this is the best feeling ever”. That’s what wrestling does. It makes you forget about all the crap you’re having to deal with and allows you to lose yourself in an incredible atmosphere that can’t be duplicated anywhere other than at a wrestling event. It gives you a natural high that you’d never believe were possible while feeling at your absolute worst.

With plenty of fantastic looking shows happening in the UK and Ireland during the second half of the year, I’m hopeful that those that also suffer from issues with their mental health get a chance to attend at least one and thus give them something to get lost in…even if just for a few hours.

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