Surfer Sunny Garcia Hospitalized Amid Depression Battle

By Kelly Burch 05/02/19

Garcia has been very open about living with depression on social media.

Surfer Sunny Garcia

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

Professional surfer Sunny Garcia, who has been open about his battle with depression, has been hospitalized following a suicide attempt. 

“With heavy hearts we confirm that Sunny Garcia is in the ICU in the hospital,” the World Surf League confirmed on Twitter on Monday. “Sunny has always been a great champion of surfing, both in and out of the water. Our prayers are with him and his loved ones at this deeply challenging time.”

Garcia—whose real name is Vincent Sennen Garcia—posted a picture of himself as a teenager on Sunday, prior to his hospitalization. 

“If I told this kid the things he would go through and things he would achieve he would tell me I’m crazy,” Garcia, 49, wrote. “Wow it’s been a crazy ride since this photo was taken.”

On March 20, Garcia opened up about his depression on Instagram, something he had done in the past as well. 

“Doesn’t matter what kind of mental illness you suffer from, we all suffer in silence and deal with it best we can and most people that don’t suffer can’t understand the pain and frustration that we go through,” he wrote. 

“I have a incredible life surrounded by people that love and care for me, and I get to travel to beautiful places to surf and meet different people from all over the world but I can tell you when I get down that none of that matters,” he said. 

Garcia wrote that he “spent the morning curled in my dark closet feeling like I just didn’t want to be here anymore”—but said that he knew that ultimately things would get better and he was determined to speak out.  

“I just feel like nothing or anyone can help me at the particular time so I just keep sharing my feelings hoping that it helps any of you out there that suffers from anything and encourage you to reach out and talk to others like yourself because this life can really be beautiful. If we all just talk and let it out so others see that it’s ok to share and we are not alone in this suffering.”

Garcia first posted about his depression in December 2014, when he asked his followers for advice. 

“Depression is no joke waking up feeling like you’re ready to take on the world then a couple hours later feeling down on life and wondering what’s wrong with you,” he wrote at the time. “Well I know I’m not alone and I’m not sure what’s wrong with me because I have no reason to feel the way I do. It’s been happening for about two years and would love to hear from any of you who suffer these feelings so I can figure out what I should do.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.