Podcast: Dean Lucas Opens Up About Childhood Suicide Attempt, Hopes to Inspire Others Who Struggle with Depression

Nov 3, 2019 at 8:57
by James Smurthwaite  

Dean Lucas has spoken about his childhood on a recent episode of the Gypsy Tales podcast, including the above section about a suicide attempt.

Dean wanted to spread his story as far as possible to help others who may be feeling in a similar situation. Before publishing, we spoke to Dean about the podcast and he wished to add the following comment:

bigquotesI've been on a bit of a life high recently and just really loving every aspect of my life and what I get to do and I think that’s made me think back to a time when I didn’t even want to live.

I saw it as, if I can go from one extreme to another and come from such a bad place I’d like to share that and hopefully help someone that might be in the same place.

I feel like I've gotten this platform now where so many young kids look up to me so why not try and use that in a positive way and help them see happiness where they might not have before and show them that it’s okay to open up and talk to the people around them.

Good energy always
Dean Lucas

The full podcast can be watched below or you can find it on Apple Podcasts here, or your podcast app.


bigquotesDean Lucas is a man on a mission. He is one of those animals that throws themselves down a hill on a mountain bike at ridiculous speeds and is one of the best in the world at it.

Not only is he on a mission when it comes to his racing, but also in his own personal development as a good human. Dean made the drive all the way from Melbourne to make this podcast happen and it was for sure worth the trip!
Gypsy Tales


If you're struggling with any of the issues raised in the podcast, it's important to talk to someone you trust. Let family or friends know what's going on for you. They may be able to offer support and help keep you safe.

These free helplines are also there to help when you're feeling down or desperate.

Australia - Lifeline - 13 11 14

Canada - Crisis Services Canada - 1.833.456.4566

New Zealand - 1737, need to talk? - 1737

United Kingdom - Samaritans - 116 123

USA - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255

A full list for more countries can be found, here.




62 Comments

  • 85 0
 It's so good to see more and more people, famous or not, opening up about their struggles with mental health.
It is so much more widely spread than people would think and the taboo/not being able to share it contributes to the problem massively.
Care for yourselves peopes, share what's keeping you busy - there is no shame in seeking professional help, nor in talking to your friends about it (you'd be surprised how often they have a struggle of their own to share and how relieved they are by your breaking the ice).
Oh and physical exercise helps lots too so ride more Smile
  • 3 0
 Yeah we need to get rid of this stigma that most people have ab people with mental health. Everyone goes thru really hard times thru their lives and not everyone is able to get over it
  • 1 0
 agree with all that. well said, mate
  • 69 0
 Bikes and being in the woods help most of the time. Getting out the door's the hard part. Let's all look out for each other.
  • 33 0
 Seriously. I’ve been wiped out the last few months. Just no energy and in a bit of a rut. Went and shot some pictures at the local trails with my buddy, and the 2 miles we maybe rode were maybe the happiest riding I’ve done in years. I’m going for another ride this weekend. Just me. Hopefully in the rain. I might cry. But i’m going to love it.
  • 10 0
 @aks2017: Time outside, by yourself is the best thing. Whether it be in the Mountains, Forest or by the beach. Literally a lifesaver for some of us.
  • 3 0
 @aks2017: dang almost tore up reading that. A good cry on the trails is awesome when times are tough, just make sure you can still see throught the tears Wink I find those are often followed by many rides with big smiles - may that be the case for you
  • 2 0
 “Getting out the door's the hard part.“

This is the most real thing I’ve read all week.
  • 33 0
 Mental health is no joke. There are plenty of neurotypical people out there that have no idea and brush it off as people being lazy or needing to smile or something. But there are also a ton of people who do get it and understand that they might not understand what you're going through that can help and want you around. It sucks that the voice of the previous is so loud.
  • 26 93
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 4, 2019 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 It's very hard to for outsiders to understand what is going on inside. I've been there in a more or less mild depression a few years ago. It's just being under the dark cloud all the time.

I know a guy that is on the downward spiral and I have no idea how to reach out to him. Everytime I do, he becomes an energy vampire and instead of getting comfort in talking about his problems he is going more and more depressed (and gets me more and more angry at him). It's a vicous circle. It is absolutely horrible to watch someone go down like that and feel helpless. That person wants you to tell them how to fix their all problems on their conditions. They expect you to tell them how to talk to their boss to give them God knows what position at work (and then I give him opportunities he says he wants and he gets super stressed, as if he was to melt down) then they expect you to tell them how to talk to their spouse to make her act the way he finds optimal. Holy shit... I get irritated as I write this. And other sreact sin a similar manner, I see it in people around how they start to treat him as a leper.

Depression is a sickness, can be a chronic sickness. People don't like sick people. You have to reach out, but when you get a rope, you have to climb up yourself. And deeper you are the longer it will take and more stumbles you will make on the way, you will slide down a few times. It will sound Ridiculous, but a bit like Batman in the part with Bane... that is the perfect metaphore for getting out of depression. And you will always be at the edge of the void... once you've been there... the issue is, you know how close it is, most people don't. But it exists for all of us...

SHOW MUST GO ON. Nature has never favored weakness, only the strong survives.Let it ring in your head...
  • 80 1
 Thank you Dean for sharing, inspiring and the strength to talk about it.

@WAKIdesigns: have you ever considered not posting. You're out of your depth.
  • 10 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Okay. And it's not your responsibility or obligation to fix their problems. The whole intent of my post was to encourage those who suffer in silence to speak up regardless of the stigma.
  • 6 63
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 4, 2019 at 10:04) (Below Threshold)
 @dguzzler: Out of my depth? Oh excuse me, seriously depressed only? Ok... I guess I'll pray to Jesus then. Do I really need to start a second account in order t be able to talk to people about issues like: "how to help a person you know is going down a spiral, that will get them fired and even more depressed?"
  • 4 37
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 4, 2019 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 @demoflight: amen to that.
  • 34 0
 @WAKIdesigns: @WAKIdesigns: getting angry or frustrated at someone in that position only fans the flames. While it may sound like he wants you to tell him how to do all of this, he’s venting because he’s angry and frustrated at himself for feeling incapable and unable to do it himself.
Sounds cliche, but baby steps. People in a position like that need support on the basic things in their lives. Motivating them to go on a short ride with you, which will turn into longer rides. When you can find that brief happiness, it makes the more stressful and anxiety causing parts of life seem less daunting. And as it becomes easier to achieve small tasks, like getting out of bed some days and cleaning up the house. Or doing a small part of a work related project, things become more clear and it slowly subsides. Best thing is to politely remind him you’re there to help and listen, but that you don’t have all of those answers. It’s his responsibility to deal with those aspects of life and he becomes overwhelmed by trying to mentally take it all on at once. Help him break them down into small things.

Glad that the world is finally accepting these conversations. Spent a vast majority of my life not being able to openly discuss problems with more than a couple of people.

I do disagree with calling suicide a selfish act though. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. One of our childhood friends hung himself when he was 12. The only thing I felt was guilt, for not knowing and not being there to help. This was long before everyone had cellphones and social media was what it is now though. There wasn’t a format to openly discuss this easily like we do now. But I never felt mad at him for doing it or as if he passed some form of emotional pain on to the rest of us. When you’re in that position laying there, holding a knife to your wrist, or staring at a gun wanting to end everything. Your mind is in so much turmoil and so much pain, that things become exceptionally clouded. You believe you’re doing the people around you a favor by no longer being a burden to them. By no longer being this overwhelming black cloud that plagues other peoples lives with negativity and sadness.

If you know someone feeling this way, remind them of why you love them. Remind them of why you want to spend time with them. Get that to stay in their mind and hopefully that love will be what stops them from taking that next step towards ending their life.
  • 5 0
 shit fest aside here. If you feel like life is not worth it, or just constantly sad/depressed, please go seek a therapist. I know its hard, but life is meant to be enjoyed, not dreaded.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: sounds like depression is not the main/only poblem this person has. Looks like he's too dependant on / clinging to others and would need to develop some independence first before moving on. Instead of being angry at him remember that it's some medical/ psychological condition he suffers from, that even if he tries to emotionally blackmail you into something, you can/should put up boundaries and say no, and that the best thing you can do for him is to send him to a therapist. If he doesn't want to, then there is nothing more you can do. Sad but true.
  • 6 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I see what you're trying to say...

I get that you don't understand your friend. You really couldn't unless you walked in his shoes. I'm not saying you haven't had struggles, but you admitted yourself that you /had/ a "mild depression." In my experience someone who admits something like that was basically sad for a while because something didn't work out or they lost someone. I fully admit that I could be wrong.

Maybe your friend is just looking for someone to listen without judging him or telling him what is to be done. I've been there. The urge to solve his or her problems with your tried and tested solutions is huge. At the end of the day, in my experience, most people are in need of an impartial party who listens without any personal connection to the person. Perhaps next time you get frustrated with him, you can just admit that you don't have the answers and maybe he could talk to someone who is impartial.

Your metaphor about climbing out of a pit has some truth to it, but everyone has their own personal demons in that pit. To paraphrase: just be strong and fight your way out. That just really isn't helpful.
  • 2 0
 Picking up on what Demoflight says :

While neurotypicals can surely struggle as well, the whole neurotypical/neuroAtypical thing is VERY interesting (from "gifted" to schizophrenia, autism, ADHD and all conditions that may not be officially considered atypical but are out of the norm) and should be broadly educated.

I strongly advise anyone to have a look at these 3 cognitive notions :
-Executive functions (often problematic in ADD/ADHD among others) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_functions
Executive functions (collectively referred to as executive function and cognitive control) are a set of cognitive processes that are necessary for the cognitive control of behavior: selecting and successfully monitoring behaviors that facilitate the attainment of chosen goals. Executive functions include basic cognitive processes such as attentional control, cognitive inhibition, inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Higher order executive functions require the simultaneous use of multiple basic executive functions and include planning and fluid intelligence.

-Theory of Mind (often problematic in autism among others) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind
Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states — beliefs, intents, desires, emotions, knowledge, etc. — to oneself, and to others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one's own. Theory of mind is crucial for everyday human social interactions and is used when analyzing, judging, and inferring others' behaviors. Deficits can occur in people with autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cocaine addiction, and brain damage suffered from alcohol's neurotoxicity, but not opiate addiction after prolonged abstinence.
In other words, some sort of social blindness !

-Alexithymia (a comorbidity of MANY mental struggles) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexithymia
Alexithymia is a personality construct characterized by the subclinical inability to identify and describe emotions experienced by one's self or others. The core characteristics of alexithymia are marked dysfunction in emotional awareness, social attachment, and interpersonal relating. Furthermore, people with alexithymia have difficulty in distinguishing and appreciating the emotions of others, which is thought to lead to unempathic and ineffective emotional responding. Alexithymia occurs in approximately 10% of the population and can occur with a number of psychiatric conditions.
In other words, about 10 freaking percent of people are sort of emotional blind !

Now imagine anyone who struggles with one or several of these 3 notions (but ignores it !). That person who you thought was the biggest a*shole ever may in fact be sort of emotional-blind since birth and consequently struggling with interpersonnal anxiety on a daily basis, leading probably to many personality disorders.
  • 7 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Based on your response and apparent lack of humility on the subject, yes, you are absolutely out of your depth. This is not anti squat numbers on a Session; it’s real people in serious despair. The only thing they need from a forum like this is empathy and compassion and a bit of encouragement to reach out for help, not some rant.
  • 3 21
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 4, 2019 at 16:09) (Below Threshold)
 @eurojuice: what?! so based on my response I lack empathy and compassion? a rant?! assuming bad intentions much?

@ssteve and mountainyj - me being frustrated with depressed people? Who isn't?! Who is not busy dealing with their own lives? Empathy to their own family and serving people who put food on their table to feed that family? What kind of a twist is that? Are we now running the contest in the comment section who is the best Samaritan?

This is the whole point of my post: we need to talk about these things because majority of people don't have time or will to deal with people, most importantly the skill to deal with these poor souls who front of their own eyes are slipping down the hole. And here's what you get: if you don't know how to help them - you are a psychopath. Oh good bloody luck with NOT creating an echo chamber here. And negprops, that is not even childish as I know some smarter children in the preschool, it would be an insult to them to call that childish. even my comment about bipolar personality got downvoted to hell, while bipolar personality is a fact, and many comments here proove that quite many, if not majority of population, are oblivious to, "Such nice and outgoing guy and attempt on suicide, unthinkable" - maybe not? Maybe being at a race venue, or filming stuff to insta page is where many are at their high and you have not a bloodiest clue what is going on when you are not looking? Robin Williams? Letterman? Anthony Bourdain? Huge portion of athletes? Tippie? Yoann Barelli? Stoke tinted with darkness? Maybe we'd like to think some people are just awesome, all the time?

Lack of empathy... my ass... how great to be surrounded with empathetic people. Us sociopaths have so much to learn, particularly from people using propping system. If not for these +/- points we would not know what to think about our own thoughts. Please, live your wonderful picture of yourselves. Smile to the mirror. Smile. And when you get emotional, yes reward yourself: "I am such a wonderful human being because I feel touched by a story." or maybe you just got a rush of oxytocin. Or Jesus - that's better.

I gave you a great chance to consider that it is not easy to talk to people who need help. That people who are fine need help to help those who aren't fine. It is easy to get touched, much harder to follow it with an action and if you think people working 9-5 can't wait to help someone, then think again. Yes you may want to improve dynamics within the group of people who are struggling with their own heads, but if you can't educate those regular people outside of it, equipped with good social skills and coping mechanisms, whom consitute vast majority of population, you are not getting the whole picture. Not even close.

Peace
  • 2 0
 Talking about depression and helping people, I once stumbled upon this link that helps to kind of grasp what depression may be like, and shows why it may be really hard to help someone struggling :
hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html?m=1

Sometimes the brain chemistry is dysfunctional and nice words and good intentions isn’t enough, medication may be necessary.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: sometimes you just can't help some one who can't help themselves . I read your comment in full an fully understood it, its close to the system of victimisation that's can come with addiction. Like I said some times people just don't want to be helped because the depression and/or addiction can become their safe warm blanket despite, their lives crashing down around them. Only when they hit rock bottom does the self realisation kick in.

To all the people that down voted this.. think it through. Every ones symptoms AND coping mechanisms are different.

Depression isn't something you're 'cured of' you don't take a pill an it goes away. Maybe in the US big pharma/insurance healthcare system.
Tou learn to cope, you learn to recognise symptoms, you learn to recognise self destructive behaviours. You live with it.
You learn to wake up an come out fighting.

I know, I've been there I am there, all my life , I'm still here ,still fighting and getting stronger every battle
  • 2 10
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 5, 2019 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 @WelshClemo: you don't know me. You know nothing about me yet you get out of your way to project whichever demons fly around your head, put me down to feel better about yourself.
  • 3 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 5, 2019 at 8:21) (Below Threshold)
 @WelshClemo: oh well maybe as someone has put it here... maybe you are out of your depth. Have you actually talk to people with mental issues? Have you tried to help them? because your description of how to help a person on the edge of making a big life mistake is as good as telling them: Get your shit together. have you heard others talking behind the back of a depressed person? Calling them energy vampire? Because some of them are f*cking just that. They are sucking the life out of the room and the last thing you want to do is talk to them. And guess what, in most cases it is only me, maybe 2 more people actually talking to that person. Asking how's up, telling jokes, trying to make them feel one of the team, trying to put them straight when they get drunk and start doing stupid shit people will hate them even more. Out of hundreds. So get the f*ck back to me next time you want to give me an advice with Weenie the Pooh. You know why I see the lad going down, because I have been there, I see quite many sypmptoms I had myself. I can see that in their posture, how they greet others, how they react when they are asked to do something, how they breath for f*cks sake. And I am supposed to lack empathy... have you tried psychedilc mushrooms?! LSD? DMT? MDMA? If not come back to me when you do, then we can talk about feelings. If yes, then erm... what are you even doing here talking to me like that?

Piglet... f*ck me... you know what? Jesus, Jesus will save me, I prefer that. I'll pray it away.
  • 2 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 5, 2019 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 @WelshClemo: "them" - so you got offended by that? People with Chronic depression are not sticking out by any means right? Erm... where did you get that stupid idea? people stick out with a particular feature of their personality that is taken under the scope. always. I know some people believe men and women are biligocially the same, but well, we'll leave them to mental health units for treatment of their sic... ilness sorry! Ohhh... hpow close I was to offending you AGAIN.

My tone? You just literally gave an advice by citing weenie the pooh - if my kid killed himself and I read that under an article about this happeneing, I would send you razors every Christmas. You don't like my tone after reading what you wrote? Fk you I guess? Tell me, are you some sort of "them", I mean people who go around Pinkbike copy and paste same lame, long post under many of my comments? Becaus you tend to last for no more than 2 weeks. I typed over many of you. Quit now. Save yourself some time. And you will be coming up into my face saying you get my tone, as if you didn't come here for a fight. You are out of your depth, you are gazing into the void, completely oblivious to the fact you are accusing me of your own traits.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah we all have stress (me: job, kids, wife, house and car). That's why I'm saying try not to take it as him wanting you to fix it. You don't have the answers and that's fine.
  • 12 0
 Amazing to think that a guy who consistently exudes confidence and positivity at one point suffered from depression. Good on him for sharing his experiences and opening up about it.
  • 8 54
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 4, 2019 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 Bipolar personality is more than common. Quite a few comedians killed themselves. I often wonder, what is a "normal person".
  • 10 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Your massive ego is showing.
  • 2 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 5, 2019 at 9:06) (Below Threshold)
 @ibishreddin: what is ego?
  • 6 0
 Wow, yeah, my father committed suicide when he was 42, and I always said I never would after that. I'm in a pretty bad place right now in terms of being unsuccessful, but I don't know, I can say fuck it to anything, and I think I'm a better person for it.
  • 3 0
 Sending positive vibes from France, bro.
  • 6 0
 "My mental health relies on the meditation that a bike gives me every time I ride." said Ratboy on Bicycle Nightmares. I couldn't agree more. Bikes are always there for me to heal my mind.
  • 5 0
 Thanks for putting this out there! Have been struggling through some issues recently and fortunately with friends and family's and my psychologist's help, we are slowly being able to manage it. Aired up my mtb tires after a long while, rode around the neighborhood and can't believe how good it felt! No shame in going to the therapist, we need to take care of our mental health!
  • 5 0
 Dean's a beauty! Glad he is sharing his story and I look forward to seeing him shred next year. Lots of laughs from his Wynn TV interviews too.
  • 3 0
 Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on at some point. Be that shoulder every now and than. And for what it's worth, instead of just posting some hollow "please share" FB post to make your self feel better like 99% of the population, just actually try and help someone on a real, human level.
  • 3 0
 Much respect to you Dean to opening up like this. You realy cannot se depresion and sadeness on the out side. I had a friend with whom I raced DH in the 90', one day he dresses him up in DH clothes and hung him self in his room. This year I lost my best friend to suicide and he was a pilot and a great musician. You can never predict something like that would happen.
  • 2 0
 "All I want to do it get away from people with bad vibes and hang with cool successful people". "I get a kick out of helping people with bad vibes and helping them turn their thought process round". Make yer mind up hat man.
  • 4 0
 Good work, sir.
  • 3 0
 Damn this is really cool. Will be rooting for him even more next season!
  • 3 1
 Thank you Dean, Im glad I convinced that dude who grabbed your visor during MSA worlds crash to bring it back to you Wink
  • 2 0
 Good on you Dean. It's good that people can talk about this kind of thing now without a stigma being attached.
  • 2 0
 Dean is a awesomely approachable guy and a class rider. Thanks James for posting something that's not talked about enough.
  • 1 0
 Listened to the whole thing and Man does Dean have a great perspective on life! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beliefs!
  • 3 0
 Bro. I got you.
  • 4 1
 cool hat
  • 3 0
 Dean is class in spades
  • 2 0
 Never met anyone who gave a shit what I feel.
  • 2 1
 Good company, enjoyable riding, lots of nature. I think...
  • 2 1
 Jase Macalpine, I salute you....
  • 1 0
 what is up with that hat tho lol
  • 1 3
 What a mess
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