Football Players and Mental Illness

Columbus, OH Depression TreatmentCrisp crunching leaves, chili simmering in the crockpot, and football on television, it just doesn't get any better than this. Fall is football season, and whether your team is your college alma mater or the NFL team you grew up with, there is no doubt that Americans love football. However, the game that demands such athleticism and focus can be a breeding ground for something that's much less flashy than those end zone dances: mental illness. If your child needs drug free Columbus, OH depression treatment, call Legacy!

With the pressure to perform, to maintain a particular physical appearance, and to overcome reoccurring traumatic brain injuries sustained on the field it should come as no surprise that many football players struggle with mental illness. Former Detroit Lyons player, Eric Hipple, has been vocal about his struggle with depression during his time in the NFL. Hipple has moved from the field to the advocacy trail, educating others about depression and suicide prevention.

As the stigma of mental illness begins to evolve in American society from a hushed discussion to an openly talked about struggle, in the world of professional and semi-professional athletes it is still discussed in whispers. Fearing that they will be seen as weak or unable to perform by owners, coaches and fans, many of football's toughest struggle silently, not getting the help they so desperately need.

Covering up the adverse effects of the sport can have grave consequences on the mental health and well-being of these players. Former Baltimore Ravens running back, Ricky Williams, found himself struggling with the screaming fans, demanding press, and the intense travel schedule. After eventually seeking out treatment, Williams was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. He is now able to enjoy his life and openly discusses his struggle with anxiety.

New protocols have been put in place to allow football players to heal from concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI), however, the pace of the game and the demands from coaches, owners, and teammates may not always make the full recovery period possible for these players. TBIs can cause personality shifts as well as changes in mood and behavior. The less time an athlete takes to recover and the sooner he suffers a repeat TBI, the greater risk there is that a re-injury will cause yet another shift. Mood disorders are common among football players and can lead to a host of other mental health problems.

The pressure to meet strenuous training schedules, travel demands, perform personal appearances, shoot commercials, spend time with family and friends, and play the game they love is intense. Intense levels of stress and anxiety often push these athletes to their breaking point. Some turn to drugs and alcohol to cope, while others struggle with bouts of depression or extreme anger. Others become reclusive and shy away from the public in the off-season.

Both college programs and NFL teams should be encouraged to remove the stigma of mental illness from their culture and include mental health counseling as part of their players' preparations to take the field. Removing the stigma of seeking mental health treatment and allowing players to heal from TBIs adequately can help reduce the likelihood that these athletes will encounter legal troubles. They will also be more focused and relaxed both on and off the field.

Holistic Columbus, OH Depression Treatment

If you, or someone you love, are struggling with a mental health concern, Legacy Freedom Of Columbus OH is here to help. We understand that there are many reasons you are afraid to talk about what you're experiencing or feeling. Choosing to seek help is the first step in overcoming your anxiety, depression, PTSD or other mental health concern. Call or click to connect confidentially with us to learn more about our drug free Columbus, OH depression treatment.

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