Depression in football

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Depression in football

Post by Sandie on Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:07 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/oct/06/depression-professional-football-fifpro-survey

Depression and mental health problems in football are widespread with more than a third of players reporting symptoms, according to new research. The international players’ union, Fifpro, said 38% of the 607 players interviewed reported having problems at some stage – especially those who had suffered serious injuries. In the general population, the figure is between 13 and 17%.

The former PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle revealed this year he attempted suicide while suffering from depression. Fifpro had carried out a pilot study in 2013 and the latest research shows the scale of mental health problems among players to be even more serious than was thought from the earlier research.

The findings showed:

• 38% of 607 current players and 35 % of 219 former players sampled reported suffering from symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.

• Sleep disturbance (23% and 28% respectively), distress (15% and 18%) and adverse alcohol use (9% and 25%) were also reported.

• Among current professionals, players who had sustained three or more severe injuries during their career were two to nearly four times more likely to report mental health problems.

Fifpro’s chief medical officer, Vincent Gouttebarge, said: “We hope that with this study comes increased awareness and commitment from all stakeholders in football to put supportive measures in place so that those suffering from mental health problems know they are not alone.

“The study is a necessary first step in ultimately proposing adequate preventive and supportive measures aimed at protecting and empowering the sustainable health of active and retired players. It is crucial to establish a body of work on this important topic. The findings in the current study might justify a multidisciplinary approach to a severely injured footballer.

“After surgery, the responsible team doctor and the orthopaedic surgeon should be aware of the potential occurrence of symptoms of mental health problems which may accompany a serious injury. This awareness might allow (i) the early treatment of such health conditions, (ii) a better and safer return to sports, and (iii) the application of supportive measures to prevent the development of severe mental disorders in the long term.”

The new data was gathered from interviews with current and former professional players across 11 countries on three continents.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:24 pm

Injuries are a fact of life for a footballer, but they are extremely well compensated for the job they do.

I understand that they operate in a gold fish bowl, but the alternative to being a highly paid professional footballer, would in my opinion be far more stressful for them.

Imagine one of these  "stars" setting the alarm for 5am and going to work in a factory for the rest of their working lives. What about working as a builder's labourer in all weathers until they're 67 years old. Try working as a junior doctor for 80 hours a week etc, etc, etc.

Better education should be given to these young millionaires. They should have it drummed into them from the outset that life as a footballer is a privilege but it is only going to take up fifteen years of their lives, so use some of the huge amount of spare time they have available to pursue and develop skills, hobbies and interests that will interest and occupy them through a whole lifetime.

A lot of us have suffered considerably debilitating health problems, but we've had to carry on as individuals or with the help of our families. Footballers are no different. Help is already available through many channels, and I feel that reports like this show how distanced from real life these "representative" bodies are.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by Sandie on Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:54 pm

I think the issues are different, like you say they end up finishing a career and then finding that they can struggle to occupy themselves or possibly keep up their lifestyles. They don't have the stress of trying to scrape by during their career, but their career ends quickly and they won't have that job (even if it's a stressful, poorly paid, labour intensive one) to take their minds of things. Some of them, during their careers, also feel pressure from the weight of fan's expectations. The help is there for them, like you say, but there's also the perception that a footballer (or even a sportsperson in general) is living the dreams of so many people and being so generously rewarded that they can't possibly suffer depression which doesn't help and is presumably part of the reason that this study is being conducted and is intended to get coverage. That perception as well as the machismo that gets to be prevalent in a lot of professional sports is what, perhaps, puts them off going to look for help.

I've been there and I know others who have been there and whilst, obviously, myself and the others I know haven't been professional sports people one of the points I learned from it is that depression can hit anyone. Rich people, people who have it all, sports people, nice people, nasty people and so on.

For anyone who's interested in the subject or who feels they don't know enough I'd recommend the documentary Clark Carlisle did a couple of years ago which is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/j4-DW65nn6g
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Re: Depression in football

Post by GadgetMan on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:03 pm

Depression doesn't discriminate and can hit anyone, irrespective of circumstances. It doesn't surprise me at all that depression is so prevalent within football. I'm sure it's just as high in other sports and celeb circles in general. The only thing that differentiates between the famous/rich and non famous/less rich is the means to get proper help. The mental health provision on the NHS is extremely underfunded and poor in comparison to other health provisions.

The rich and famous have a great opportunity to get real help (which is only really available in any quality and quantity if you can pay for it)

As you guys will be aware I've worked in the mental health arena and had planned a depression/mental health/health in general thread, so this will lead nicely into that.

I'll repost this in that new thread as its a useful discussion starter. Cheers Sandie
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Re: Depression in football

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:21 pm

I'm not making light of depression, what I'm saying is that it's the same for all of us. It's a real and distressing illness that is hard or impossible to manage without treatment.

It's the same for all of us, except for the fact that rich ex professional footballers or young men in any well paid profession are more easily able to access treatment than those who are on a NHS waiting list.

Footballers only become a special case because of publicity, but the disease remains the same.

I don't mean to sound hard hearted, but I would rather resources were channelled in to care and assistance for all the suicidal young men in the UK.... the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker as well as sportsman and non sportsman.

Ps: I've made some of the same points as you GM but I'll leave them as I think they're relevant.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by Sandie on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:32 pm

Don't have a problem with what you're saying, VB. Completely agree that they have access to help if they want it and probably to a much greater extent than the guy in the street.

In a way, I think the publicity that sportsmen get for their mental health issues is good. It raises awareness of the issue, makes ordinary people going through depression see they are not alone and perhaps encourage them to seek and receive help. It might even encourage channeling of resources to help the man on the street.

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Re: Depression in football

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:09 pm

Sandie wrote:Don't have a problem with what you're saying, VB. Completely agree that they have access to help if they want it and probably to a much greater extent than the guy in the street.

In a way, I think the publicity that sportsmen get for their mental health issues is good. It raises awareness of the issue, makes ordinary people going through depression see they are not alone and perhaps encourage them to seek and receive help. It might even encourage channeling of resources to help the man on the street.

I think you're on to something there Sandie. If more players openly and honestly discuss their problems, it may perhaps persuade other less high profile sufferers to seek help .... but, not in the kind of "paid for media expose", but rather as a free and sincere exchange of experiences on a suitable forum.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by Chris Harte on Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:00 pm

I feel that all footballers should be educated at a young age that they are going to need to find things to do with their time, not only once retired but also during injury lay-offs and even when fit to play. They also need to realise that these things to do shouldn't really be solely shagging women and drinking beer.

When I retire, I hope I'll be learning a new language, learning to play chess, doing anything to keep the mind active.

I think I read once that Tony Adams, to try to beat alcoholism, took to piano lessons to keep himself out of the pub. Players need to learn that they will need a range of healthy, engaging interests to keep themselves out of trouble.

As for money, I wonder how many of the Wayne Rooney's and Raheem Sterling's of this world actually understand the buying power of what they "earn."

And if in spite of all that they still suffer from depression (because it can still happen) then they need to know where they can get help, and that geting help isn't a sign of weakness.

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Re: Depression in football

Post by GadgetMan on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:37 am

Chris Harte wrote:I feel that all footballers should be educated at a young age that they are going to need to find things to do with their time, not only once retired but also during injury lay-offs and even when fit to play. They also need to realise that these things to do shouldn't really be solely shagging women and drinking beer.

When I retire, I hope I'll be learning a new language, learning to play chess, doing anything to keep the mind active.

I think I read once that Tony Adams, to try to beat alcoholism, took to piano lessons to keep himself out of the pub. Players need to learn that they will need a range of healthy, engaging interests to keep themselves out of trouble.

As for money, I wonder how many of the Wayne Rooney's and Raheem Sterling's of this world actually understand the buying power of what they "earn."

And if in spite of all that they still suffer from depression (because it can still happen) then they need to know where they can get help, and that geting help isn't a sign of weakness.

Good points and good advice I'd say.

As has already been touched upon if sports personalities or celebs talking about depression helps regular joe bloggs to open up and seek help then ANY coverage or media focus is a good thing imo!!

We're as uneducated (As a society) about Mental Illness and Disability as we were about Gay Rights and Racial discrimination a few years back (still for some sadly) I think it has a little catching up to do. Still an awful lot of stigma attached to Mental Illness.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by villabromsgrove on Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:23 pm

I think Gazza is a prime example of how much help is already available to footballers and ex footballers. He's been given a huge amount of treatment and support by some very good people. He was back in court today for alleged harrassment of a former girl friend.

Sadly Gazza will never change, and he will never grow up and accept responsibility for his own actions. I fear the worst for him
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Re: Depression in football

Post by Sandie on Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:07 pm

I agree about Gazza, though I think his problems are quite different from 'simple' depression between alcoholism and some severe mental health issues. Gazza has been given so many opportunities with coaching jobs and punditry roles but none of that seems to have been able to occupy him for any length of time. People won't just give up on him and this is good in a way but I'm not sure how much he wants to change and its that determination to fix your issues that's needed more than anything.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by villabromsgrove on Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:36 am

Sandie wrote:I agree about Gazza, though I think his problems are quite different from 'simple' depression between alcoholism and some severe mental health issues. Gazza has been given so many opportunities with coaching jobs and punditry roles but none of that seems to have been able to occupy him for any length of time. People won't just give up on him and this is good in a way but I'm not sure how much he wants to change and its that determination to fix your issues that's needed more than anything.
I'm beginning to realise that it may be harder to want to get better and "fix your own issues," if the life that you return to when healthy is a deeply unsatisfactory replacement for the life of skilful display and adulation you once had as a football idol. It shows how keeping young players grounded, is an important part of a club's remit.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by Sandie on Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:12 pm

Bit OT but at least one of our players is keeping an interest away from football: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rudy-gestedes-energy-drinks-business-10232466

Gestede admits his business interests are a welcome distraction when things aren’t going well on the field.

“I like to have something other than football to keep my mind busy,” he said.

“I’m thinking about later in life too. Also sometimes when you have a bad game and feel down you need to think about something else.

“Having interests away from football can help to take your mind off things. I have football, I have my family and I have my business on the side.”

The 6ft 4ins Benin international set up the drinks firm with a friend, and is now considering branching out into nuts and cars with his brother.

“We had a friend who runs a compny in Luxembourg and he asked us if we wanted to help him launch the energy drink.

“So I used my background to help get it up and running and we had a photo shoot with Craig Bellamy and Bacary Sagna.

“It stared slowly in this country so we are concentrating on selling in Africa now as there aren’t as many energy drinks and our price is cheaper than Red Bull.

“My brother is in France and has another company but we are still doing a few things together. We are also looking at nuts and cars too.”
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Re: Depression in football

Post by GadgetMan on Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:37 pm

Sandie wrote:Bit OT but at least one of our players is keeping an interest away from football: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rudy-gestedes-energy-drinks-business-10232466

Gestede admits his business interests are a welcome distraction when things aren’t going well on the field.

“I like to have something other than football to keep my mind busy,” he said.

“I’m thinking about later in life too. Also sometimes when you have a bad game and feel down you need to think about something else.

“Having interests away from football can help to take your mind off things. I have football, I have my family and I have my business on the side.”

The 6ft 4ins Benin international set up the drinks firm with a friend, and is now considering branching out into nuts and cars with his brother.

“We had a friend who runs a compny in Luxembourg and he asked us if we wanted to help him launch the energy drink.

“So I used my background to help get it up and running and we had a photo shoot with Craig Bellamy and Bacary Sagna.

“It stared slowly in this country so we are concentrating on selling in Africa now as there aren’t as many energy drinks and our price is cheaper than Red Bull.

“My brother is in France and has another company but we are still doing a few things together. We are also looking at nuts and cars too.”

Energy drinks, Nuts and Cars, quite the combination.
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Re: Depression in football

Post by villabromsgrove on Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:45 pm

GadgetMan wrote:
Sandie wrote:Bit OT but at least one of our players is keeping an interest away from football: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rudy-gestedes-energy-drinks-business-10232466

Gestede admits his business interests are a welcome distraction when things aren’t going well on the field.

“I like to have something other than football to keep my mind busy,” he said.

“I’m thinking about later in life too. Also sometimes when you have a bad game and feel down you need to think about something else.

“Having interests away from football can help to take your mind off things. I have football, I have my family and I have my business on the side.”

The 6ft 4ins Benin international set up the drinks firm with a friend, and is now considering branching out into nuts and cars with his brother.

“We had a friend who runs a compny in Luxembourg and he asked us if we wanted to help him launch the energy drink.

“So I used my background to help get it up and running and we had a photo shoot with Craig Bellamy and Bacary Sagna.

“It stared slowly in this country so we are concentrating on selling in Africa now as there aren’t as many energy drinks and our price is cheaper than Red Bull.

“My brother is in France and has another company but we are still doing a few things together. We are also looking at nuts and cars too.”

Energy drinks, Nuts and Cars, quite the combination.
I like the fact that he's looking at the African market with a view to sensible pricing. I hope he does well during and after his football career.
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