Christina Kim’s vibrant personality, flamboyant attire and unbridled openness with fans on-site or via Twitter have made her a favorite on the LPGA Tour for years. The 28-year-old Kim, who has also weathered brickbats tossed her way by mean-spirited golf watchers, took an uncommonly courageous step on Wednesday when she made public her two-year battle with depression and her fight to overcome the urge to take her own life.
Kim, whose career has stalled in the past couple of years, writes on her blog about back problems that began with a painful massage in 2010, and which caused a power outage with her swing. This contributed to a decline in confidence and eventually contemplations about killing herself.
“Depression. Thoughts of suicide. Irritability. The inability to smile,” Kim writes in her “I guess it’s time to address the elephant in the room” post. “No, this isn’t an advertisement for Prozac. This has been my life for the last two years. It’s scary to admit. That word, depression.”
Kim, who owns two tour victories and has won more than $4 million in her career, says things got so bad that she almost ended her life by jumping into the Mediterranean last April after playing poorly in a Ladies European Tour event in Spain. Thanks, however, to a supportive boyfriend, loving friends and medical treatment, the outwardly ebullient Kim has made a comeback off the course. Work with Tiger Woods’s coach Sean Foley has helped her regain some of the potency in her swing.
Now, after suffering through the worst year of her professional life and two years of living hell, Kim says she is “cautiously optimistic” about the future. She also hopes that her words will somehow boost others afflicted with depression.
“If by writing this, I am able to help even one soul seek help for what too many of us keep hidden in shame, my life’s work would be fulfilled,” Kim writes. “Because to live a life where one does not attempt to help others… What kind of life is that?”
Whether you suffer from a disorder that the Center for Disease Control & Prevention estimates strikes one in 10 adults, know someone who does, or not, please read about Kim’s struggles in her own eloquent words.