Mental Health In Sports By Conor Daniel
Let’s talk about a sensitive subject: mental health and sports. As someone who has mental health issues himself, I like being an advocate for mental health. Now more than ever have we seen athletes left and right coming out about their mental issues.
As I am starting to write this, I just saw the news about Carey Price, goaltender for the Montreal Canadians, taking a 30-day leave of absence due to struggling with his mental health. Good for you Carey, I hope you get that help you need. One of the more well-known athletes wrestling with her mental health is women’s tennis player, Naomi Asaka. Formerly the number one ranked women’s tennis player, Naomi is going through a real bout with her depression. Countless videos are out there of her crying and breaking down in interviews. Part of me hates the media companies that exploit her. The other part of me is happy that it gets the talk about mental health going. Depression is everywhere. The 10-time boxing champion, Oscar De La Hoya, has admitted he suffers from depression. His quote, ”This is the biggest fight of my life...I could put all my opponents in one right and battle them all, but this monster is going to be the toughest fight of my life.” That’s one of the toughest guys in the world saying how serious his depression is. Michael Phelps is the best Olympian of all time. With 23 gold medals and superstardom, Phelps has come out talking about his anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The Olympic swimmer is becoming a huge advocate for mental health now. Some of the other notable athletes who have admitted to having a mental illness are, Terry Bradshaw, David Feherty, Ricky Williams, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Stephon Marbury, the list goes on and on.
Studies show 1 in 5 people in the United States suffer from a mental illness. I’m happy for the athletes who have come out and told their stories. Telling someone you need help, is one of the hardest things a human can do. Sadly, there still is a public stigma for mental illness. Some people think it’s made up or that person is just being lazy or weird. I wish that was the case. If you take one thing away from this blog, it’s to get help if needed and understand how serious this issue is. Athletes are people just like you and me. Let’s work together to help fight this issue.