Jay Glazer And The Hunt For The Perfect Treatment Plan

Jay Glazer finds ways to grow with his ADHD every single day. The tenacious NFL Insider for FOX Sports’ award-winning NFL pregame show FOX NFL SUNDAY was diagnosed with ADHD in 1989, well before people widely knew what it was. Jay struggled in school– both with fidgeting and managing his short attention span, as well as educating his teachers on exactly what was happening in his brain.

Since then, Jay has built a solid career, breaking major stories in the NFL year-round, and was named Sports Illustrated’s Media Person of the Year on 2007. Today, he is newly engaged, an author, and an advocate for mental health. Listen to hear more from Jay on how it’s never too late to get answers, the intricacies of men and mental health, the elusive perfect treatment plan.

Refocused, Together is a collection of 31 stories told throughout the 31 days of October, a part of our commitment to ADHD Awareness Month. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss a single story this month! 

To connect with Jay on social media, follow him on Instagram as well as Twitter and make sure to check out Unbreakable with Jay Glazer – A Mental Health Podcast wherever you are listening now!  

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Jay Glazer (00:00):

When I really have those gray days, I feel it physically. I feel it in my joints, behind my rib cage, the left side of my gut, I feel it like I just got out of a 10-round fight in the rain. It’s hard, but I make that decision to get out of bed every day. And then once I make that decision, I decide I’m going to go be relentless.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:24):

You are listening to Refocused Together, and this is episode 20, Jay Glazer and the Hunt for the Perfect Treatment Plan. Welcome back to Refocused, a podcast all about ADHD. I’m your host, Lindsay Guentzel, and today we’ve got another story in our Refocused Together series. You just heard today’s guest, Jay Glazer. You may have seen him on FOX Sports award-winning NFL pregame show, FOX NFL Sunday. Jay’s an NFL insider, which means he is the go-to for exclusives, updates and injury news for your favorite teams and players leading up to game day coverage. He’s got a rep for breaking major stories, and as a former sports reporter, I can honestly say that Jay is the guy for this. His reporting is accurate to a tee, and tireless.


So much so that Sports Illustrated named him Media Person of the Year in 2007. Jay lives in Los Angeles and he’s been on TV shows like HBO’s Ballers and The League on FX. As a former MMA fighter himself, he has even served as a host for Bellator’s signature MMA fights on the Paramount Network. When he’s not in front of the camera, he can be found at Unbreakable Performance Center, his gym in West Hollywood that he opened in 2014, working on making a difference in the lives of his clients so they can live happier, healthier, and more successful lives. Jay is a natural in front of the camera. He’s outgoing and fun, and as many of us know, public and private lives can be really different. In January of 2022 he released his first book, Unbreakable: How I Turned My Depression and Anxiety into Motivation and You Can Too.


That same year, he launched his podcast, Unbreakable with Jay Glazer, a mental health podcast. There he shares his personal mental health journey, including the tools and techniques he’s developed to “live in the gray”, his term for living and thriving with anxiety, depression, and ADHD. In 2015, Jay launched MVP, or Merging Vets and Players, a charitable organization that matches former combat veterans and former pro athletes so they can help each other through the transition into their new lives, away from the battlefields and playing fields. You can learn more about MVP at vetsandplayers.org.


Let’s hear more now from Jay about his journey with ADHD, why he’s still committed to finding the right treatment plan for his mental health even after trying more than 30 medications, and why he’s made it his mission to show the world that despite all the stereotypes working against them, mental health is a critical component for men’s overall health. I’ve made this series as easy for me as possible and I ask everyone the same questions. And we get started with, when were you diagnosed with ADHD and what was that process like for you? And if you remember, what sparked those initial conversations?

Jay Glazer (03:54):

I was actually diagnosed early, in 1989, which is way before anybody knew or heard what it was. And back then it was ADD or ADHD. I had just gotten kicked out of my first college because I was not able to sit through three-hour lectures with professors. In high school we didn’t have three-hour lectures, so I wasn’t able to do it. Got kicked out. My parents actually had a chain of preschools for communicationally handicapped children in New York. They heard about ADD ADHD and said, “You know what? We think you may have this.” And took me to Princeton University to get diagnosed and they diagnosed me there. And it was interesting because back then, I then got to another college and it was while I was at the other college, my second college for my freshman year, I had to go explain to professors what this was.


And what was suggested to me at the time by the psychiatrist there were, “Hey, when you’re feeling overwhelmed and the walls are caving in, go outside and take a breath and shake your head and refocus yourself. Get some water, splash a little water on your face. Go back in.” They gave me a pill back then also to take, so I’d have to go and explain it to the professors. And the professors back then looked at me like I was Matthew Broderick from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Like, “Oh, Glazer’s coming up with something that this thing doesn’t exist.” And I had to really educate them on it. So it was an interesting path to take, and for a long time people still didn’t know what it was.

Lindsay Guentzel (05:21):

I’m wondering, following that diagnosis and the little that was known about ADD, what we called it at the time, what stood out to you as far as your symptoms? Or how it affected you? You were in college at the time that this new thing landed on your plate, but what stood out when you looked back at your life as a child?

Jay Glazer (05:43):

Well, I was always getting in trouble in school because I couldn’t pay attention, so I was always fidgeting and talking and my attention span was very short. And what happens when your attention span is short, you try and do something that’s going to interest you. Well, talking to me was interesting. So I turned around and talked too much, so I was always getting in trouble. It was always… Oh, every single parent-teacher conference was terrible, everyone, because my parents came home, it was the same one. “Your kid’s a good kid, but he can’t focus.” It’s the same thing. And there was no ADD or ADHD or anything back then. So it was just like, “Hey, you need to start focusing more in class.” Well, it sounds good for you, guys. You have the ability to do it. I don’t. So every single time I got in trouble.


So, yeah, that sucked. And I knew it was coming, too. Every single time they went, I’m like, “Oh, tonight I’m going to get punished because they’re going to come home and say I’m not focused and I can’t keep focused in class.” And, sure enough, it was met with a grounding. It was met with a punishment, every single time, for years and years and years. So I wish the diagnosis was available a lot earlier so that wouldn’t be the case. Now, look, I don’t blame my parents because they didn’t know about it either. They’re just like, “Hey, he’s not focusing.” And I think a lot of kids go through this. And the thing also was, I would ask teachers… I started talking about ADHD to college professors after I had graduated and after I started working in the NFL, and after I was already on TV. And I said, “Hey, let’s, A, not call it a learning disability, because I just don’t learn the way you teach and coach.”


I’ve fought in MMA for a little while, but I’ve started a huge mixed martial arts cross-training program for pro athletes, and myself and Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell, we’ve trained, I don’t know, a thousand of these guys, and we just coached differently than others. Doesn’t mean somebody can’t learn or doesn’t do things a certain way. We just coach in a certain way. Some guys it resonates with, some guys it doesn’t. So just because I don’t learn your way doesn’t mean I can’t learn. I just don’t learn that way. So I would ask professors not to lump us in as that. And then the other thing. I would also, now, I look for all my mental health issues, whether it’s ADHD or depression or anxiety. I look at them as, “Okay, where do they serve me in life?”


I call them my superpowers now. Instead of looking at it as something that I’m damaged, I then say, “No, no, no, these made me different.” And by the way, different is good. Different leads to success. I don’t want to just be a face in the crowd. I want to be my own damn crowd. That’s what being different is about. Different leads to success. So, for my ADHD, look, in my job covering the NFL, I got two of these phones going on. I got this GM calling and I got this head coach calling, and I got this guy texting, and there’s a million things. So I’m great in chaos as a result of this, and I could have six careers going on at the same time. So I’ve learned where it’s my superpower and I am proud of it. I don’t feel bad about it. But like my depression, my depression has always made me feel unworthy of being loved from the inside out.


I don’t know how to really truly feel love from the inside out. Love myself. So it’s motivated me to go do all those things I just talked about to go get love from the outside in. Without my depression, without this lack of self-worth and self-love, I wouldn’t have been as motivated to go be the first NFL insider when the internet first came out, minute-by-minute breaking news insider, or to be the first host of a mixed martial arts show in America, or to have the first MMA training program for pro athletes, or to do Ballers, to do all these things that I’ve done. It wouldn’t have motivated me to do all these great things to get some love from the outside in, and then still be able to work on myself and hope that they meet in the middle one day. So I try and turn these into my superpowers.

Lindsay Guentzel (09:33):

You get this answer in 1989, and with the little resources that were available, I’m curious, what did you change in your life to start adapting to the ADHD?

Jay Glazer (09:45):

It’s funny, all they did back then is give you a pill. There wasn’t a lot of game plans. So I knew I was smart enough to go to minimal classes. And, look, just from my experience, the initial medications for ADD and ADHD, they’re stimulants, and when you also have depression and anxiety, they don’t match well together for me. So they give me these peaks and then bad valleys, and then the valleys got worse and worse and worse. And then I got put on other meds to make those dark valleys less dark, and then another med to counteract that. And just, man, it was this vicious cycle. When I was told about Qelbree, which is a non-stimulant… And I’ll try anything if it’s going to help me, but this is the first thing that’s really helped me to be able to focus, and focus at night.


I take it at night instead of the morning, and that’s helped me just being able to quiet down what goes on between my ears. Normally those 15 minutes I lay my head on my pillow at night are the worst because I’m laying down with someone that I don’t know how to like or love, and then, the think and plot and planning. Think and plot and planning. Think and plot… It just goes all night long. You’re not able to stop. You’re not able to stop. And it’s exhausting. And with the Qelbree, I’m able to actually sit, focus, and I’m able to peacefully go to sleep at night. Kind of calms my brain down. Instead of having 19 conversations going on in my head at night, I have one, and I’m able to just get myself to go to sleep, which is fantastic.


And then wake up the next day a lot more focused and it continues with me. So that’s great. And I’ve been on over 30 antidepressant, antianxiety meds, and I wish one of them would work. They haven’t. I’ve been unfortunately resistant, but I’ll always be willing to try the next one that comes out. I’ve always had an issue with false hope. Everybody who tells me they’re going to be able to help me either with my pain between my ears or my physical pain, I get upset when I get let down. It’s false hope. So when Qelbree works for me, I was like, “Oh, my God, finally, yes. Thank you, God, I finally have something.” So it’s been a very, very, very, very pleasant surprise for me.

Lindsay Guentzel (12:01):

I bet after all of the ones that you’ve tried, it’s just been a relief to feel like it’s working. I know for me, sitting on SSRIs for months and years before I was diagnosed, and just waiting, because it’s what they tell you to expect, and it’s exhausting.

Jay Glazer (12:17):

Yes, it’s exhausting. And again, not only is it false hope, but a lot of times you know this med they gave you is sending you down a rabbit hole. And they’re like, “Oh, you just got to give it time.” I’m like, “I’m feeling this is dangerous for me, you know.” And they’re like, “Just got to give it time.” The reason why I talked about mental health is I know how to give things words, and God blessed me with the ability to communicate. So I’m able to see when something is sending me down a rabbit hole, or I feel like I’m being manic as a result of something, and I could recognize it and get off it and be able to do things to get myself into a better head space.


But that’s why I wanted to write a book where I gave it words and do a podcast to give it words so people could understand, go, “Oh, okay, that’s how I feel. That’s me.” For example, my first panic attack came in 2005. I was in an empty Raiders stadium. There’s nobody there but me and the cameraman. And all of a sudden, man, the walls start caving in, my eyes start shaking, my heart starts showing I’m going to I have a heart attack, my eyes are darting back and forth, my hands were shaking. And then I started having one every week. And for 13 years I was getting my heart checked out thinking I had a heart attack. We didn’t hear about panic attacks back then.


And one day I was at FOX and Terry Bradshaw was talking about his anxiety attacks and he was describing it, and I’m like, “Oh, my God, that’s it. That’s what I have.” And I started talking about it and learning that I’m safe. Terry’s like, “You’re safe. You’re okay.” And once I heard that, that also stuck in the back of my mind. I said, “I want to eventually be able to put these in words for other people so they can have their aha moment, and they can have their moment of, ‘Hey, this is what ADHD feels like.'” And as I’m talking about, somebody will go, “Oh, wow. That’s what I have too. Okay, now I understand why I am like this.” And to be able to get help, or even to get help, but also just talking about it. Talking about it, you’re spreading your wings and you’re bringing in more teammates to be on your team. Having teammates really helps me.

Lindsay Guentzel (14:16):

It’s the best ripple effect there is. I want to ask, when you look at your life right now and with your ADHD and everything that you’ve learned since you were diagnosed, what is your biggest struggle?

Jay Glazer (14:29):

My biggest struggle, even to this day, is when I walk into a restaurant with friends, I hear everything that goes on in the room. So it looks like I’m being rude to my friends and I am being a little rude to my friends, and I’m also a sensitive guy, so I don’t like my friends getting mad at me. But now I know to say, “Hey, gang, I’m sorry. It looks like I’m not present, but I hear everything that goes on here. At that table over here, they’re fighting. This table over here, they’re trying to have a business deal, and that guy shouldn’t do that business deal because that guy’s trying to sheist him.


“And that table over there, they’re talking about what’s going on at that table.” I hear everything going on. There’s a million voices going on at the same time. So I’m like, “I’m present. I’m also hearing you at the same time. I know it looks like I’m not because I’m looking around, but I’m also hearing you.” So if I’m able to say that to them, that gives them more patience for me.

Lindsay Guentzel (15:16):

I love that you said the guy’s doing this business deal and he shouldn’t do it, because I also start to work on their problems. I’ll be next to a couple having dinner and they’re fighting and I’m like, “Oh, my God, if she would just be more patient and if he would stop saying this.”

Jay Glazer (15:31):

A lot of empathy, and I’m sitting over there going, “Oh, they’re about to break up. Oh, no.” And then I’m stuck on them instead of the person in front of me. Yes.

Lindsay Guentzel (15:38):

Yes. And it’s exhausting. You just carry it around. You’ve mentioned a lot about anxiety and depression and how it shows up in your life, and we know that those are two of the most common comorbidities that come alongside ADHD. Tell me a little bit about how the three of them fit into your life and what you do to manage some of the stuff that comes along with it.

Jay Glazer (15:59):

Well, like I said, I try to make all of them my superpower, and it isn’t an everyday thing for me. So I don’t ever wake up… I call my mental health issues “the gray”. The gray is anxiety, depression, and ADHD together. It’s a combination. Throw a little bipolar into it while we’re at it. So my day is spent trying to find slivers of the blue, or to make the gray not go as dark. So every single morning I wake up and first thing I have to do is make that decision to get out of bed. And it’s hard because when you’re gray, when I really have those gray days, I feel it physically. I feel it in my joints, behind my rib cage, the left side of my gut. I feel it like I just got out of a 10-round fight in the rain. It’s hard, but I make that decision to get out of bed every day.


And then once I make that decision, I decide I’m going to go be relentless. And now, because I’ve talked about my mental health so much, I have so many new tools to be able to deal with it. I call them my new unbreakable habits. So now, before, I would look at my phone in the morning. I used to immediately get up and look at my phone. Nothing good happens on this. None of us are really the heir to a Nigerian prince, or we won $2 billion. It doesn’t happen really. So it’s just problems or hate on social media or something along those lines. So now, before I even look at my phone, I get up, I say a little prayer to God with my beautiful fiance. I do 10 minutes of breath work. I do a quick meditation, and I do this gratitude list where I write 10 things I’m grateful for the day before.


And it could be anything. It could be a pair of shoes, it could be a car, it could be nature, it could be something somebody said to you, it could be a joke, it could be anything. But I write down 10 things I’m grateful for. And then I look at them for a little while, kind of reliving those. And then I get a quick workout in. It might be two minutes, three minutes, something. It could be 15 minutes before I even look at my phone. So that’s a much better way. I’ve started my day, I’ve accomplished something now more. And now I actually got Michael Phelps, who’s one of my mental health teammates, sent me a cold plunge. So I actually do that now for three minutes. So I have this whole thing now where instead of just waking up dreading the gray, I have some things to do to go against it.


And then same at night, I have this meditation I do where I think about something that happened during the day and I appreciate, celebrate and smile. So I really, like the last three minutes of the day, I’ll just sit and I’ll focus on this. It could be this interview right here. I’ll say, “Man, this was such a great interview. We’re going to help so many other people,” and I’ll celebrate. I’ll throw a party in my heart. Like really, really throw a party, and then I’ll smile, because when you smile, you release certain chemical endorphins in your brain and your brain doesn’t know if it’s a real smile or fake smile, but I will have this big party in my heart.


So now, I will have gone to sleep having just come home from a party. And that wakes me up in a much better mindset as well. So I get to learn all these things because I’m talking about it so much. And that’s the beautiful part that I’ve shared with you so much. I’m able to really get these new tools to fight back. And because I’m talking about it, I got a company like Qelbree and Supernus who say, “Hey, we have something we think may help you out.” If I wasn’t so open about it, they wouldn’t have approached me. And I’m glad I’ve been open about it. I’m glad they approached me.

Lindsay Guentzel (19:25):

I’m glad that you mentioned the smiling thing. When I ran my first marathon, one of the tips someone gave me was, “Smile the whole time.” And it sounds so silly, but when you smile, you’re right. You just feel happy and you smile and other people smile at you. So you’re running this kind of horrible thing. It has its moments, but it’s pretty, pretty tough, and you’re smiling and it does make it easier.

Jay Glazer (19:48):

And your brain doesn’t know if it’s real or not. If you smile, it’s releasing those chemicals, those endorphins that you’re looking for.

Lindsay Guentzel (19:55):

I love your list of strategies, and I’m so glad you brought up the cold plunge. That was the episode of Unbreakable with Michael Phelps. Unbreakable with Jay Glaser is the podcast that you have, and Michael, obviously a fellow, ADHDer. Let’s talk about the cold plunge for a second because I started doing this this last winter, and it is terrifying at first, but then you start to crave it, and it is really weird how quickly it happens.

Jay Glazer (20:21):

I don’t know if I’ve ever craved it because let me tell you, here’s my issue. Again, I fought in the early days, before there were unified rules of mixed martial arts. Our coach at the time, he’d have a hot tub and a cold plunge together. And you’re only supposed to do three to five minutes of cold plunge. That’s it. We didn’t know back then. So, man, they would put us in a hot tub, then go do 15 minutes in the cold plunge. 15, and then put us back in the hot tub, and another 11 minutes in the cold pledge. And then put us back in a hot tub and another 12 minutes in the cold plunge. Oh, my goodness, it was horrible. It was brutal. And I used to be in there with a bunch of other football players and fighters, and then they pushed the water out so you can never get comfortable.


So now, the three to five minutes thing, oh, yeah, I love it. And by the way, with my mental health issues, I now know, like when I’m having episodes, I reach out to four friends and tell them I’m struggling. This is another one of my unbreakable habits. Tell them that, “Man, I’m struggling today.” Michael Phelps is one of those guys, and we always check up on each other. And I’ll call four guys, tell them I’m struggling, but then I’ll call four other friends and not tell them I’m struggling, just to check up on them, because that’s a way for me to be of service. And being of service really helps me cut through the gray and get to the blue.

Lindsay Guentzel (21:38):

One of the questions we ask everyone is, where do you see yourself thriving right now in life?

Jay Glazer (21:43):

You know where I see… I mean, I’m thriving everywhere in life. I just got engaged. I’m 53. For the first time I found love because I was able to work on certain things for myself. And I was also able to now communicate when I have my really dark gray manic moments to tell my fiance, “Hey, listen, I’m really hurt and I’m really struggling. What I need from you right now is just reassurance that it’s not going to scare you away. You’re not going to run away.” And I told her that in our calm moments that that’s what I need. And I asked her what she needs from me when I’m having those moments so she doesn’t get scared away.


And for the first time in my life, I’ve had somebody who say, “Hey, I’m not going anywhere. No matter what you say or do, I’m not going anywhere.” And it’s never too late to find love, and I found it with this beautiful woman named Rosie Tenison, and it’s been the best part of my life. It’s been incredible. So I’m thriving now more than I ever have. But also I’ve had all these teammates of mine, or friends of mine, that our relationships have gotten so much closer because I’ve talked about this. I mean, the Rock is the most famous guy in the world. He wrote the forward to my book because he’s like, “Hey, you’re going to be a voice for the gray for all of us.” Us, him included.


You know how much that took off him to be able to finally exhale and say something that he didn’t have to be so perfect? It’s been amazing. So every single person I’ve opened up to about my ADHD, my depression, my anxiety, my gray, every one of us, it has gotten us closer together. So I’m thriving with my relationships now as well. I’m thriving at FOX NFL Sunday. I have so much more fun now. I appreciate it more that, man, this team lifts me up. So I just enjoy it. My life is way better now that I’m no longer hiding these issues, in coming out and talking about them and making them everyday conversation and being vulnerable every day than it was beforehand.

Lindsay Guentzel (23:38):

You mentioned the importance of reaching out to people. You have four people you reach out to. You have found this spot in getting men to open up about their mental health, which is… We’ll just go with the stigma, it’s typically something men have a harder time with doing, and it’s easy to see why. Men are raised to be tough and strong and be providers, and heaven forbid they show any cracks in the foundation. What have you learned from sharing your journey and then seeing other people around you open up?

Jay Glazer (24:11):

Look, it’s funny you bring this up because when I used to train guys in mixed martial arts, guys like me were the problem. So for sports, I would tell our fighters and our football players, “Hey, man, don’t put your hands on your hips. If you’re hurt, don’t show it. If you’re tired, don’t show it.” Like our fighters were not allowed to take a stool in between rounds. I wanted to break that guy across most mentally, and by doing that, one of the things is, by you showing no breaks, no cracks, no weakness, no nothing. And now I’m asking guys to do the complete opposite in life. So, it works for sports, but let’s leave it on the field. Let’s leave it in the cage.


Let’s leave it in the rink. Let’s leave it on that court. Let’s not bring it into life. So, like I said, you have these big bad men now that we’ve really opened up to each other about things, we’re able to have way deeper conversations than we’ve ever had. And you’re right. Guys are kind of, “Hey, that’s sucking up mentality.” But I’m around, again, I’m around the baddest warriors in the planet, whether they’re fighters or football players or combat vets, and we are opening up and crying to each other and no one’s questioned our manhood. So I want more men to do this to join our crew.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:28):

I want to talk about your job. I also am a journalist, and I realize now, one of the reasons why I got into it is because I thrive off of deadlines. What is it about the work you do that keeps you coming back? Because if you Google Jay Glaser, it shows up a little bit like somebody who has ADHD. You have done a little bit of everything. You’ve got your hands in so many different cookie jars, but you obviously are so passionate about all of it. So, what is it about journalism that drove you to get started in this, and what keeps you coming back?

Jay Glazer (26:01):

I don’t know if the deadlines per se, but you got to remember, too, I was the first minute-by-minute breaking news guy in America. Before I did it, it was either for newspapers or TV or radio. And then the internet thing came out, which I think is going to take off, and then all of a sudden I got to break news on the spot. And that was a rush. That for me was incredible. That for me was, man, beating somebody else. It was like a competition for me. And back then, fans would compare me and the other insiders who had what right first. And then as it went on, I realized it became, ah, who could Tweet faster. So now for me, my biggest job is, “Hey, on FOX NFL Sunday, I want to make sure, every time you turn that show on, there’s something Glazer’s going to have that the rest of the world did not.”


Something. Hopefully more than just one thing. And that for me is a thrill. That’s a rush. That’s to know, boom, I just dropped something on everybody else. But in order to get those, this piece of information, man, there’s a thousand phone calls you make, and I may be only coming out with three stories. I put on about 1% of what I know. But it’s the conversations. The nonstop conversations. And you know with ADHD, that’s where you thrive. You don’t thrive when it’s quiet. You thrive when you’re able to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. And, yeah, I have five things going on at once, so that for me, it fills me up. It fills my cup up, the ADHD cup up, in many ways.

Lindsay Guentzel (27:27):

I imagine that it also helps that every week there’s something new and different.

Jay Glazer (27:31):

Yeah. Look, the NFL is the greatest reality show in the world. Look, back in the day I’d have to go out and find the storylines. And it’s not like that anymore. Storylines are there. Now it’s just my job to go find more inside information on those storylines, but it’s the greatest reality show in the world. And then I was on Ballers and people would say, “Oh, man, that stuff can’t really happen in the NFL.” I’m like, “Ballers is G-rated compared to what really goes on in the NFL.”

Lindsay Guentzel (28:03):

I’m wondering, as your career has grown and the more things you take on, one of the things that people who have ADHD is, we try to do everything ourselves. Have you found a way to offload some of the things that are not a good use of your time?

Jay Glazer (28:17):

No. It’s still just me at FOX. ESPN has, I don’t know, 50 NFL insiders? Whatever it is. NFL network has dozens and dozens. At FOX, it’s me. That’s it. Always has been. So I have never done that. It’s also caused me to struggle running businesses where I need to be better, allowing people to just do their job and not micromanage. But that’s where I’m constantly thinking. And I’ve had, like, Randy Couture told me one time, he said, “Hey, you’re crazy. You see things really fast, a lot faster than the rest of us, and it scares a lot of people.” He said, “I don’t need to see it. I just have faith in you. But not everybody does.”


And you wrestle with yourself, how do I slow down to show everybody that? Because I do see things that I think make so much sense to me that may not make sense to anybody else until a month later. And then I get frustrated a lot with that. So that’s where I get caught up a lot, also. I guess the only place it has helped is, where I do offload things is, offload when I’m feeling gray, when I’m struggling, when I’m hurting. That I used to just walk that walk alone, and now I don’t have to walk it alone anymore. Now I got this whole team Unbreakable behind me. All these people out there have beautifully and vulnerably opened up to me as well. I got them to walk this walk together with.

Lindsay Guentzel (29:47):

Let’s talk about Unbreakable. You have the book and you have the podcast. What was it like for you to choose what you were going to put into that book, and then translating that into these conversations you’re having with people that you have wonderful relationships with, and then they’re opening up to you in such a vulnerable way?

Jay Glazer (30:04):

Well, I’ll tell you how the book came about. I was at a thing. A friend of mine was having a book launch, and these three ladies come over to me and they say, “Hey, we don’t know who you are, but everyone in here is talking about you, but in a different way.” And I said, “What do you mean?” They said, “Well, are you a military vet?” I said, “No, but I have a charity for military veterans, MVP, Merging Vets and Players that I’ve founded.” And somebody else said, “No, no, he’s Demi Lovato’s trainer.” I said, “Well, I am, in a way. That’s not my career, though, yet. She trains at Unbreakable, our gym.” And then Dr. Phil walked over and said, “Hey, are the Cowboys going to get Dak Prescott’s contract done or not?” And they’re like, “Why is Demi Lovato’s trainer, Dr. Phil asking him whether or not Dak Prescott’s deal’s going to get done?”


And then they’re like, “Okay, we don’t know who you are, but could we get you a drink?” I said, “Sure, I’ll have a Sauvignon Blanc.” And they said, “We didn’t expect that from you, either.” So we started talking, and they’re like, “Hey, we would love for you to write a book.” And I told them, I’m not interested in writing an NFL book. I’m not interested in revealing all the secrets that I know because I’m not looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life, but I would love to write something where I could be of service to the world. And with that came… If you ever read my book, it’s chaos. I somehow fit in five different careers into one book, but all of this common theme of mental health, but it’s through an NFL insiders lens. It’s through charity. It’s through how I got to my career.


My career, the first 11 years of my career I was broke. I was making 9,450 bucks a year. So I went from broke to Unbreakable. So even that, and because of my mental health issues, I was able to get rejected more than anybody I’ve ever heard in my life during that 11-year span because I didn’t feel worthy in the first place. So, of course, you can keep rejecting me. If I didn’t have that depression and anxiety and that low self-esteem and self-worth, I wouldn’t have been able to get rejected all those years. What my relentlessness and my ability to withstand all is what allowed me to finally get that first full-time job in 1999 covering the NFL for CBS and CBS Sportline.com as one of the first internet reporters.


I realize now that has played into and allowed me to withstand a lot of that to have my dreams come true, if you will. So the book itself is all about opening up and describing things. And a lot of it is describing what depression feels like, what anxiety feels like, what ADHD feels like, how we combat things. I give people a game plan, how you can combat these things. But the overall thing is, I really wanted to give it words. We could all say that we want to get help, but if we don’t have the words, how are we going to get help? So I wanted to provide people with words so we could really open up to each other and build this one big badass team together to walk this walk together with.

Lindsay Guentzel (33:03):

I’m very not shocked, but surprised and in awe of your feelings towards rejection because mine are the exact opposite. I won’t put myself out there because I’m so afraid of hearing the word no. Can you just talk about that a little bit more? Because I think for so many people, we are so dependent on a reaction from someone else, and what we don’t understand… You even mention trying to get love from the outside because you didn’t know how to love yourself. I have spent my whole life being a people pleaser, and yet here I am worried about what this person might think of me, and it has held me back and it’s exhausting.

Jay Glazer (33:40):

I still have that also. But when I got rejected for those 11 years from job after job after job, I looked at it like, “Yeah, of course. Yeah, that’s what I deserve.” Because, again, the depression and anxiety make you feel unloved or unlovable. So I’m like, “Yeah, okay. That’s what I deserve. Let’s go back to the drawing board. Let’s just keep going, do it again. Let’s keep trying to find that love some more.” So, because we do want that love, we would seek it out, but I’d seek it out with a vengeance, right? So it’s kind of the same thing you’re saying, but when I did get turned down, it would just be, “Yeah, that’s where…” When I started fighting, I went in, I felt like I deserved to be in a cage, and I felt like I deserved to lose and take beatings, which is sad.


And I felt like that person deserved it more than me. So the worst of the worst result in there I was already comfortable with, if that makes sense. And now I know I am worthy of it. I’m worthy of winning. I am worthy of getting this job, or getting that gig over there, or getting that scoop, or having this success. But, yeah, I look at it now and say, “Okay, because I didn’t have that worth when I got pushed down, I was like, ‘Yeah, of course I got pushed down.’ That’s what my worth is.” But I wouldn’t stay down. My whole thing was like, “I’m going to go after this until I get that love. I’m going to go find that love.” So it made me more relentless than anybody else.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:07):

With all of the things that you’ve accomplished, and I know from my experience in this line of work, it always feels like you’re auditioning for what’s next. And you mentioned you’re engaged, and that obviously is something that you’re very excited about for the future. But I’m wondering, what else is motivating you right now? What else is pushing you forward?

Jay Glazer (35:26):

One of the things I want to do now also is learn how to exhale. I’ve done a lot. And now that I have found love, I want to exhale. I want to enjoy this. All those years of darkness, now I got some light, I got some blue, and I’m learning now that my brand is in the blue, not the gray. It used to be, “Yeah, I’m this guy who’s in the gray,” and even the Rock said to me, “Hey, dude, do you think this is your brand?” And I said, “Well, yeah. I’m showing everybody that they’re not alone.” He said, “No. We need you to be in the blue. We need you to show people that there’s ways out of the gray. It doesn’t have to be a life sentence. We need you to show people there’s ways in the blue.”


And I’ve really made that my intention now, where every day it’s a decision, blue or gray, because there’s both that are there, but I’m now going to try and get myself to exist in the blue a lot more, which I’ve never done. It’s been 53 years of my life. And then the next thing for me is to write a second book, Unbreakable Habits, where I have all these game plans, these things that I’ve learned since to get myself out of the gray and into the blue, and make them my daily habits to go live in that blue.

Lindsay Guentzel (36:33):

I have to ask, for somebody who has ADHD, as you live these moments and you think of them, how do you keep track of them so that when you do write the book, you can come back to them?

Jay Glazer (36:43):

No, I think that’s one of our superpowers with ADHD. We remember stuff forever. It’s all there. We don’t have to write them down. They’re all there. I come up with stuff constantly. And again, I’ve been hanging with Strahan since ’93 constantly. We used to live together, everything. And I’ll bring something up and he’ll be like, “How did you remember that?” I wrote a book with Strahan and I was a writer for his book. I barely talked to him. I remembered everything that had gone on in his life for all that time. And he was like, “How do you remember this stuff? It’s my life.” I’m like, “Well, that’s the ADHD helping me out.”

Lindsay Guentzel (37:17):

Oh, my friends hate it. I remember everything. Every embarrassing moment, I’ve got it locked in. Jay, this has been such a wonderful conversation. I want to wrap up by asking you, what is one thing that you wish people understood better about ADHD and how it shows up for the people like us who have it?

Jay Glazer (37:35):

Yeah, I want them to understand that there’s a lot of chaos that goes on in between our ears. And while it’s helpful in certain areas, it can be painful for us, to have a little bit more compassion for us. I know that it’s not something we’re trying to do, and a lot of times we don’t have as much control over it. So to have more compassion and joke around with us about it. Make it a little more lighthearted for us.


And like I said, have more patience for us. And even when you’re seeing it, point it out, have patience and know that it’s not something that is wrong with us. It’s just something that makes us a little bit more special. Appreciate that about us. Because it’s also something we’ve overcome. I never say I have mental illness, ever. I always say, it’s things I’ve overcome.

Lindsay Guentzel (38:24):

I love that. And I want to go back to the episode with Michael Phelps that we talked about from your podcast, Unbreakable with Jay Glaser. And you mentioned in there that a lot of days, most days in fact, it’s really hard for you to get out of bed, but you have found your place and there are so many people everywhere, people who love football and people who don’t, who are connecting with that message. And I just thank you because I’m sure there was a point where you had to make the decision to put yourself out there in a very vulnerable, authentic way, and that’s terrifying. And you did it, and you’re doing it for the greater good, and I just want to thank you because it means a lot from somebody who has also had their own struggles and is trying to get the same message out there. We need as many people to open up as possible.

Jay Glazer (39:10):

Well, this lifts me up, so I appreciate. You have given me something to celebrate tonight when I go to bed.

Lindsay Guentzel (39:16):

I appreciate that so much. Thank you.


Casually chatting about your ADHD with someone you watch every weekend on your TV is both surreal and awesome. And I’m so grateful to Jay for not only joining us for Refocused Together, but for being so open and candid about his mental health story, especially his struggles with finding the right medications. It’s a frustration I’ve heard more than a few times, from both guests and listeners. When you don’t get that eyeglasses moment after starting a new med, you know this idea that trying new medication is like putting on glasses and finally being able to see clearly. When you don’t get that aha moment, that perfect fit, it can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening. The good news is, we have so many more options for treating ADHD today, which, if I’m being honest, I also know that that can be bad news for people who are overwhelmed by options.


That’s why it is so important to talk with your healthcare provider about your symptoms and their effect on your life to see what might be a good fit for you to try out. I hope if you are someone who has felt defeated by not having your eyeglasses moment yet, you were able to find a little hope in Jay’s story that the right fit is still out there for you. I also appreciated Jay’s willingness to break down how he tackles any fear surrounding rejection. Fear over rejection is something I have struggled with my entire life, so learning about rejection sensitive dysphoria after I was diagnosed was a game changer. RSD is a heightened sensitivity to perceived rejection, criticism, or failure, which can trigger deep emotional responses, and while not every ADHDer experiences it, it is something that can show up and wreak havoc.


According to ADHD researcher, Dr. William Dodson, rejection sensitive dysphoria appears to be the one emotional condition found only with ADHD. Early research on ADHD intentionally ignored rejection sensitivity because it was not always there. It was often hidden by the person with ADHD, and because there was no way to measure rejection people with RSD may experience extreme anxiety, sadness, or anger in response to situations that would not typically cause such a strong reaction. These emotions can be overwhelming and challenging to control and may lead to avoidance or isolation as a coping mechanism. I imagine RSD calling a friend, usually depression, and being like, “Can you pick up anxiety on your way over here? And get an extra bag of ice.” RSD can hold people back from their lives.


People can start to misinterpret situations and things others say or do, and put up high walls to protect themselves. When that person is finally ready to tackle what’s going on, there’s that tough feeling of it being too late to do anything. They’re ready to start walking off the field and back to the locker room when the game isn’t even over yet. Jay talked about how he kept going, doing things again and again, even when it was uncomfortable because he didn’t want to feel as though he didn’t deserve something. He realized how worthy he was of success, his overall well-being, mental health and love. He was going to go after it until he had it. Now, it might be hard to feel motivated like that, especially when everything seems so big or against you.


Finding that new therapist, trying another medication when you’ve not yet found a good match, and dealing with buddies who might not want to see you get better, it all can be daunting. When Jay was up against his challenges, he kept showing up. He was consistent, meeting himself where he was, and doing what he could each day. And over time change happened for him. We are fans of tools and resources here on the podcast. So, what are some ways to be consistent when dealing with rejection sensitive dysphoria? We’ve got four tips for you to try. One, recognize what’s going on. When you know what’s causing your valid feelings of sensitivity, you can start working on managing your emotions and reactions. Think of this as establishing your game plan.


Two, review how your thoughts and feelings are affecting you. And then, three, using those observations, reframe it. Instead of seeing the perceived rejection as a personal attack, try to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. So, you miss the extra point. What can you do differently next time to get a different outcome? How can you prepare yourself so RSD doesn’t continue to ruin your season? And finally, number four, recharge. Take a breather. Talk to a trusted friend, family member or therapist, and prepare for the next time you’ll be back on the field. I’m so glad I got to talk with Jay and share his story with you on Refocused Together.


To stay up-to-date with all the incredible stuff he’s got going on, you can follow him on social media at Jay Glazer, and of course, catch him every week on FOX NFL Sunday. We’re getting so close to the final stretch of Refocused, Together 2023, and I just want to thank you all so much for the love and support you’ve shown us all here at Refocused. There is still so much to come and we can’t wait to wrap this all up with you on November 13th. To catch all 31 stories make sure you’re subscribed to Refocused wherever you listen to podcasts. And while you’re there, show us some love by leaving us five stars or review on why you love Refocused. Thank you guys so much for listening, and join us back here tomorrow for another brand new episode of Refocused Together.


Support for Refocused comes from our partner, ADHD Online, a telemedicine mental healthcare company that provides affordable and accessible ADHD assessments and treatment plans. To learn how they can help you on your journey, head to adhdonline.com and remember to use the promo code, refocused20 to receive $20 off your ADHD Online assessment right now. The biggest thanks go out to our team at ADHD Online, Keith Boswell, Suzanne Spruit, Melanie Mile, Claudia Gotti, and Tricia Merchant Dunny, for their constant support in helping make Refocused Together happen.


These 31 episodes were produced thanks to our managing editor, Sarah Platanitis, our production coordinator, Phil Roderman, social media specialist and editor, Al Chaplin, and me, the host and executive producer of Refocused, Lindsey Guentzel. To connect with the show on social media, you can find us online at Refocused Pod, and you can email the show directly, [email protected]. That’s [email protected].

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