Miscellaneous October 9, 2013

The grey area of depression

Depression in sports has long been a taboo subject, with many sports persons choosing to handle the problem in private, away from the attention of team mates and the spotlight. Matt Slater, writing for BBC Sport, documents a few examples of athletes who have suffered in silence, and uncovers some worrying trends, especially with how sports bodies refuse to acknowledge the problem, which seemingly has grown in recent years.

Fowler's experiences call to mind the similar cases of England cricketers Marcus Trescothick and Michael Yardy. And from there it is an easy jump to the tragic tales of Robert Enke, Justin Fashanu and Gary Speed, three footballers whose problems ended in suicide. A good example of this line of reasoning is the theory that cricketers are twice as likely to commit suicide as the average British male. This claim was made by David Frith, the founding editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, in his 2001 book "Silence of the Heart",