“All that glitters is not always gold.” This adage describes best the life of sportspeople, who not only have a humongous fan following but also a wide range of mental issues that come uninvited during the course of their careers. It is as if they live by the sword, they die by the sword.
With the growing demands of international sports burgeoning over the years, mental health risks have followed the same curve. There is tremendous pressure on the athletes on and off the field. Due to their busy sporting calendars, most of them almost live out of the suitcase. Not being around friends and family for the majority of the time can have serious implications.
There are a number of athletes who have fallen prey to mental health issues arising out of demanding careers. In this article, we look at a few of them:
Jonathan Trott (Cricket): England’s top order bat Jonathan Trott faced mental health issues which forced him to abruptly end his International career.
Glenn Maxwell (Cricket): Australia’s Glenn Maxwell took a sabbatical from the game in 2019 citing mental problems
Sarah Taylor (Cricket): Constant anxiety issues compelled the talented wicketkeeper bat Sarah Taylor to call it quits when she was just 30 years old.
Michael Phelps (Swimming): The most successful and the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps fell into a major state of depression.
Amanda Beard (Swimming): Olympic gold medalist Amanda Beard came out in the open in 2012 when she revealed her battles with depression, anorexia, bulimia, and drug abuse.
Allison Schmitt (Swimming): Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt made her battle with depression public in 2015
Imani Boyette (Basketball): Professional basketball player Imani Boyette has lived with depression since childhood when she was raped by a family member.
Jerry West (Basketball): NBA legend Jerry West has struggled with depression since childhood due to the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.
Serena Williams (Tennis): Serena Williams was battling depression in 2011 due to a string of injuries and health difficulties. She has also revealed about postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter Olympia in 2017.
Justin Duchscherer (Baseball): In 2009, ex-professional baseball pitcher Justin Duchscherer was diagnosed with clinical depression by a team psychologist.
Ricky Williams (Football): Former NFL star Ricky Williams was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety disorder.
Though these people are connected by a common thread of either serious or benign mental health problems, the other thing that is common among them is that they have come out of it strong and some of them are now helping other sportspeople to not fall into this vicious trap. To learn more about Mindfulness Therapy and how can you benefit from it, click here and read it on the BetterHelp website.
That’s where Mindfulness Therapy comes into the picture which can help sportspersons and athletes recover by adopting a holistic approach and training both the mind and soul. The beauty of this therapy is that it is not just limited to professional athletes/sportspersons, rather it can be practiced and preached by an amateur as well.