Athlete x Depression
“Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how beautiful the world is” -Atticus
The fact that a great deal of student athletes quietly suffer from depression and anxiety deserves a discussion. The demand of class, practice, games, friendship, family, and other commitments are a few components of the world of a student athlete. In the midst of this, they are still figuring out who they are and how they operate in different spaces.
What’s leading to depression?
Just like no two people are the same, no two athletes are the same. Their dreams, experiences, families, etc.all have their unique twist to it. So much expectation not only from society, but high expectations of themselves. Some athletes understand that while striving for excellence, it is a part of human nature to face adversity. However, some don’t truly understand what it means or how to handle adversity when it is starring in their face.
When you aim so high without taking account for the losses, the fall can be brutal. Especially if it includes life altering circumstances such as injuries, which will force athletes to start looking at life through another lens. We hope an optimistic one. But, what do student athletes do with those feelings? Who do they trust to help you through it?
Unfortunately, Studies indicate that student athletes are less likely to seek help from a counselor or psychiatrist. Why is that? Athletes shouldn’t feel ashamed, weak, or less than if they seek help. Actually, it’s a sign of bravery and responsibility that you acknowledge that you need help and you go seek it. In a conversation with former athlete now coach, Raven Gerald, she encouraged athletes to eliminate that stigma that seeking help is weakness. At the end of the day, we are all human. Above everything, take care student athletes need to take care of themselves. Nothing works if they are not aligned mentally and emotionally.
There is no particular person or organization that is responsible for raising awareness about mental health and resources for student athletes. It is the responsibility of us all.
The athlete. The coach. The parent/guardian. The school.The community. We all must do our part to ensure the success of student athletes.
Change The Narrative