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Clarke Carlisle has spelt it out: retiring from sport can be a traumatic loss

The former footballer Clarke Carlisle has revealed that he had been trying to take his own life when he was hit by a lorry in December.

Carlisle, who retired as a player in 2013 and had been chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, told the Sun newspaper that he had faced an 18-month battle with depression since leaving Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Outlet Online the game.

Sadly, many other sportspeople have faced the same difficulties, either during or at the end of their careers. Two years ago Carlisle himself presented a BBC TV programme about depression within his sport, titled Football’s Suicide Secret, which was commissioned in the aftermath of footballer Gary Speed’s suicide. The Olympic champion athlete Authentic Prada Shoes Sale Kelly Holmes discussed her self-harming replica prada long wallets, Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Uk Sale and her contemplation of suicide, many years ago. And John Kirwan, the famous Black Prada Bag Mission Impossible All Black rugby player spoke publicly about his depression and has set up mental health awareness campaigns in New Zealand.

In bravely revealing the difficulties they’ve faced, they have raised awareness and sent a message to other sportspeople that it is OK to talk about mental health issues.

Athletes by nature are mentally tough, and are perceived to be mentally tougher, fitter and healthier than others – and this makes it harder for them to approach someone for help, especially if they are in the public eye. They can experience loss in many ways – loss of form, loss of speed, or through injury or retirement. The severity of the psychological response to that is often misunderstood by other sportspeople, and to a certain extent by the athletes themselves.

Research has revealed that when participation in sport stops, either temporarily or permanently, professional and elite-level athletes can experience the same psychological stages as people grieving the loss of a loved one. These are, typically: shock or denial, despair, anger, depression, pre-occupation, re-organisation, and finally acceptance.

The magnitude and extent to which an athlete stays in any of those stages depends on the individual. Depression is one of the most difficult stages in the cycle, and can vary from being a lifelong predisposition of low mood to depressive phases that vary in intensity.

Retirement from sport is a huge loss for an athlete. Most people who completely change Authentic Prada Bags Outlet Online occupations do so because they are not enjoying the career they are in; footballers and athletes, on the other hand, are often forced to retire from a sport Are All Prada Products Made In Italy they still very much love and enjoy participating in. At some point they are faced with two choices: to retire from the sport immediately, or move down the pecking order until retirement at a further date. In both cases they have to deal with loss, rejection and feelings of isolation or separation from team mates.

Research on retired athletes has shown one of the most frequent experiences is a sense of emotional loss associated with separation from significant others, such as coaches and teammates. That, coupled with a possible reduction in exercise, can also add to increased depression levels – regular exercise is known to release feelgood chemicals such as neurotransmitters and endorphins which help reduce depression and anxiety. At the same time, stress in itself produces hormones which can lead to chemical imbalances with too little serotonin in the brain.

It is important for people to understand that depression is not always visible, and the athlete or person may never admit to how they feel. Moreover, it can come on gradually or can be with the individual for many years. The athletes themselves may deal with these symptoms without fully recognising them, until a trigger causes the symptoms to surface on a more powerful and negative scale.

It Black Prada Chain Bag is also more difficult for men because they are more reluctant to talk about their feelings, or how they are coping. This is Authentic Prada Handbags Online also Black Prada Doctor Bag made more difficult by the social element and stereotypes often associated with male sports: the sense of identity, the banter, the feelings of being united, and laughter and fun that comes with belonging to a team. All that can be lost when the athlete retires from the sport.

Many athletes use a sports psychologist, who may be the first to observe depression – especially when working with retired athletes. The sport psychologist will refer an athlete with any depression for clinical support.

Given cases such as Carlisle’s, it’s clear that not all top-flight sportspeople are getting the help they need. In wealthy sports especially, there should surely be procedures in place to help athletes when they are at their most vulnerable, such as after injuries or around retirement.

Thankfully, society is recognising and talking about mental health issues more frequently, and in Bicester Village London Prada speaking out Carlisle himself is doing a great service in this regard. With more support, people like him can be helped. Let’s hope those in a position to make a change are listening.