Correlation between depression and athletes?

by Kindsey on February 6, 2014 - 6:23pm

Most of you probably saw Clara Hughes either on the Bell commercials or in the Summer and Winter Olympics. This national athlete is using her fame to entice people to donate for research on mental illnesses. In the article "Stéphane Richer, Darryl Strawberry, Clara Hughes tell Michael Landsberg of depression struggle" by Randy Stark (published February 8th, 2012), the famous athletes tell all about "their struggles with depression" in a documentary named Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and Me.

Montrealer Stéphane Richer, is known for his famous hockey days where the Montreal Canadians won the Stanley Cup in 1994-1995. He admits having suffered from depression ever since he was a child and trying to commit suicide only four days after the New Jersey’s Stanley Cup parade. He believes his depression begun when he was taken away from school and his friends to play hockey, at 14 years-old. He was 18 when he joined the NFL and won the Stanley Cup. The fame brought him into the spotlight and many stories where fabricated about him, bringing him to dislike, if not hate, his life.

Clara Hughes, Olympic speed skater and cyclist, as well Daryl Strawberry, MLB outfielder, had their own struggles with depression. Ian Thorpe, Olympic swimmer, is another name coming up in the media these days as he battles this mental illness. It brings me to wonder if there is a correlation between depression and athletes. Maybe the spotlight is too much for a person to handle? Maybe it’s the excessive hours of training? There is only one way we will find out and it’s by continuing our research on mental illnesses and figuring out their origin. If we can discover exactly what brings about the illness, we can find a way to put an end to it.


First of all, I find your post interesting because of the subject. I love sports and when I saw the title of your post, I felt like knowing more about this possible correlation. I do believe, like you, that there is a possible correlation between the two. I think that professional athletes, sometimes, have too much attention and therefore pression. Since I believe in compassion, I feel very sad about some of these athletes situation. Now then the Olympic Games have started in Sotchi, do you think some athletes will come out of there and be in depression?

About the author