Sunday, 31 August 2008

Depression in Sport

A very interesting interview this morning during the rain-delayed ODI between SA and England. It was Aggers talking to England legend Marcus Trescothick who has curtailed his international career due to depression and anxiety. Tresco was very open about his condition, which was pleasing not from a voyeuristic point of view, but rather from the point of view that sport needs to face up to some of the problems its people have; instead they tend to be marginalised and left to suffer in silence.

Tresco described the problems he has with both anxiety and depression, and, vividly, the building up of these problems as the pressure situation of a test match abroad came closer and closer. The loss of control, loss of self, that he felt as the reality of those situation became sharper, was almost painful to listen to. In practice, daily life, he could manage. It was only as these times approached that the symptoms defined themselves, reaching a crescendo of shrieking that simply made normal life impossible.

The things is that these are physical symptoms as debilitating as many physical injuries. Yet we don't believe it, or we look at one situation and two different people and ask why one can do it and the other not: could it be that the psychologists are wrong and we don't believe in the existence of other minds at all?

3 comments:

Colin Campbell said...

But all sports people are superhuman and infallible in the mind of the public. I believe that we are seeing more and more of this as the pressure and the money increases and the publics acceptance of mental illness and depression. More people probably know people who have had or are depression/depressed.

Look at Andrew Symonds.

The Tin Drummer said...

Is that the case with Symonds, Colin? Over here, we just get that he's a bit of a knob.

The Tin Drummer said...
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