We need to talk about mental health

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We need to talk about mental health

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed May 04, 2016 8:03 am

There have been a few interviews in the press recently from Rory Lamont - an outspoken man about many issues, but mainly mental health and concussion in rugby. The latest piece is quite hard hitting:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/may/03/rugby-vulnerable-gladiators-wrestling-demons?CMP=share_btn_tw
The Guardian wrote:
The end of the domestic season is looming but, in many ways, a more important debate is only just beginning in earnest. Does it really matter who wins trophies when an increasing number of players are struggling to cope with the intense mental strain of professional sport? Rugby union is not alone in having participants who suffer from depression but to what extent, if any, is the game itself to blame for the apparent rise in unhappiness?

The testimonies of the former Scotland international Rory Lamont and the England prop Joe Marler in the Sunday Times over the weekend were striking. Lamont, in a particularly brave statement, admitted to having suicidal thoughts since retiring through injury in 2013. “You’re thinking: ‘I don’t want to live like this. I’d rather die. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get struck by lightning or step in front of a bus.’ Coming out of rugby, my world pretty much collapsed.”

Even now he still suffers sharp ankle pain, suspects the painkillers he took to assist his recovery from multiple operations may have affected his digestion system and has found it hard to cope outside the safety blanket of a club environment.

Most pertinent of all was his first-hand account of how players find it almost impossible to admit to vulnerability, whether it be mental or physical. “Rugby is great at masking insecurities,” Lamont told his interviewer, Mark Palmer. “You get this bullet-proof vest: you’re part of a team, everyone’s telling you you’re great. But it’s just a comfort blanket.

“Once that’s removed, you’re that little child, completely scared, totally vulnerable and very much on your own. I wasn’t always in love with rugby, but I was surrounded by friends, travelling the world. Suddenly everything was gone. I felt like a spent battery, tossed on the scrapheap.”

The case of Marler is not so extreme but, in its own way, is equally revealing. His agent approached the Sunday Times with the obvious aim of altering perceptions about his client after a difficult couple of months but Marler had a whole load of stuff to get off his chest. Among other things, the Harlequin front-rower revealed he has sought professional help in a bid to make himself calmer on the field. Marler is, hopefully, years away from retirement but, at 25, he felt he was losing control of himself, not least prior to his latest flashpoint against Grenoble. “In the first half I had lost it completely. You can see me running round as if looking for something … I know that things have gone too far.”

The first step to solving a problem, as everyone knows, is to admit you have one in the first place. Hats off to Marler for summoning up the courage to make that decision and best wishes to both him and Lamont as they strike out for happier shores. We are not talking here about the routine daily frustrations of sport: not getting picked, getting injured or contractual uncertainty. As Lamont makes clear there can be less obvious triggers, not least the knock-on effects of a “bravado culture” where the relationship between “us against the world” competitive aggression and normal life starts to curdle.

The former Bath and England prop Duncan Bell, the ex-Sale and Lions hooker Andy Titterrell, the former Oxford University and Sale flanker John Carter; all have had to wrestle with mental health issues either during or following their careers. Titterrell began to suffer after he moved from Sale and believes “a lot of my depression stemmed from rugby”. Carter has written about how he “felt bereft and empty, searching for something that had disappeared” after he was forced to hang up his boots. All are now doing their best to help and educate others and turn their own tough experiences into something more positive. The Rugby Players’ Association has a 24-hour hotline – 01373 858080 – for any members who think they may need help.

The next step, perhaps, is to reiterate to more people that the supermen out on the field continue to be human beings underneath. I happen to know the family of a professional footballer entering the final stages of his career. As Old Father Time creeps up on him, the abuse he receives on social media when his team loses can often be sickening. Never mind he has played more than 500 professional games, nor that he has been a loyal servant to numerous clubs. If you are heading to an end-of-season game this week, spare a thought for the more vulnerable gladiators wrestling with their unseen demons. Put yourself in their boots as they seek to justify another contract and keep food on the family table. Not such an easy life, is it?

To put these comments into perspective, Rory Lamont suffered a lot of injuries in his career - and a lot of concussions. After retirement he dropped a bombshell claiming that certain coaches accused him of faking his injuries, and that he was soft. This obviously led him to return from injuries sooner than he should have, no doubt exasperated the problem in the first place. This is of particular worry given his concussion history.

These claims were vigorously denied by the SRU so we don't really know what happened, but it certainly brings to the forefront the issue of physical and mental health in rugby - these are just human beings after all, with the same problems that everyone else has. The problem is that they are under the microscope and in such a cutthroat environment that issues such as mental health are put under a lot of strain.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 8:17 am

Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces. The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at. Oh add has done his job for far less money.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Wed May 04, 2016 8:39 am

Allty wrote:Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 8:50 am

[quote="Tattie Scones RRN"][quote="Allty"]Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.[/quote]

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.[/quote]

Just putting things into perspective Tats. Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.

A wise man prepares for this.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Stone Motif on Wed May 04, 2016 9:07 am

Allty wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
Allty wrote:Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.

Just putting things into perspective Tats.    Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.  

A wise man prepares for this.

What an awful post.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Wed May 04, 2016 9:11 am

I see your point Allty but I don't think any rugby player goes into the game knowing or thinking that sustained head injuries will cause mental issues later in life. I also don't think you can prepare for that either.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by lostinwales on Wed May 04, 2016 9:16 am

Everybody has problems. Just because they are not as bad as the ones the guy next door has doesn't make them go away.

All it means is that to the guy next door your problems are trivial.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Stone Motif on Wed May 04, 2016 9:18 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:There have been a few interviews in the press recently from Rory Lamont - an outspoken man about many issues, but mainly mental health and concussion in rugby.  The latest piece is quite hard hitting:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/may/03/rugby-vulnerable-gladiators-wrestling-demons?CMP=share_btn_tw
The Guardian wrote:
The end of the domestic season is looming but, in many ways, a more important debate is only just beginning in earnest. Does it really matter who wins trophies when an increasing number of players are struggling to cope with the intense mental strain of professional sport? Rugby union is not alone in having participants who suffer from depression but to what extent, if any, is the game itself to blame for the apparent rise in unhappiness?

The testimonies of the former Scotland international Rory Lamont and the England prop Joe Marler in the Sunday Times over the weekend were striking. Lamont, in a particularly brave statement, admitted to having suicidal thoughts since retiring through injury in 2013. “You’re thinking: ‘I don’t want to live like this. I’d rather die. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get struck by lightning or step in front of a bus.’ Coming out of rugby, my world pretty much collapsed.”

Even now he still suffers sharp ankle pain, suspects the painkillers he took to assist his recovery from multiple operations may have affected his digestion system and has found it hard to cope outside the safety blanket of a club environment.

Most pertinent of all was his first-hand account of how players find it almost impossible to admit to vulnerability, whether it be mental or physical. “Rugby is great at masking insecurities,” Lamont told his interviewer, Mark Palmer. “You get this bullet-proof vest: you’re part of a team, everyone’s telling you you’re great. But it’s just a comfort blanket.

“Once that’s removed, you’re that little child, completely scared, totally vulnerable and very much on your own. I wasn’t always in love with rugby, but I was surrounded by friends, travelling the world. Suddenly everything was gone. I felt like a spent battery, tossed on the scrapheap.”

The case of Marler is not so extreme but, in its own way, is equally revealing. His agent approached the Sunday Times with the obvious aim of altering perceptions about his client after a difficult couple of months but Marler had a whole load of stuff to get off his chest. Among other things, the Harlequin front-rower revealed he has sought professional help in a bid to make himself calmer on the field. Marler is, hopefully, years away from retirement but, at 25, he felt he was losing control of himself, not least prior to his latest flashpoint against Grenoble. “In the first half I had lost it completely. You can see me running round as if looking for something … I know that things have gone too far.”

The first step to solving a problem, as everyone knows, is to admit you have one in the first place. Hats off to Marler for summoning up the courage to make that decision and best wishes to both him and Lamont as they strike out for happier shores. We are not talking here about the routine daily frustrations of sport: not getting picked, getting injured or contractual uncertainty. As Lamont makes clear there can be less obvious triggers, not least the knock-on effects of a “bravado culture” where the relationship between “us against the world” competitive aggression and normal life starts to curdle.

The former Bath and England prop Duncan Bell, the ex-Sale and Lions hooker Andy Titterrell, the former Oxford University and Sale flanker John Carter; all have had to wrestle with mental health issues either during or following their careers. Titterrell began to suffer after he moved from Sale and believes “a lot of my depression stemmed from rugby”. Carter has written about how he “felt bereft and empty, searching for something that had disappeared” after he was forced to hang up his boots. All are now doing their best to help and educate others and turn their own tough experiences into something more positive. The Rugby Players’ Association has a 24-hour hotline – 01373 858080 – for any members who think they may need help.

The next step, perhaps, is to reiterate to more people that the supermen out on the field continue to be human beings underneath. I happen to know the family of a professional footballer entering the final stages of his career. As Old Father Time creeps up on him, the abuse he receives on social media when his team loses can often be sickening. Never mind he has played more than 500 professional games, nor that he has been a loyal servant to numerous clubs. If you are heading to an end-of-season game this week, spare a thought for the more vulnerable gladiators wrestling with their unseen demons. Put yourself in their boots as they seek to justify another contract and keep food on the family table. Not such an easy life, is it?

To put these comments into perspective, Rory Lamont suffered a lot of injuries in his career - and a lot of concussions.  After retirement he dropped a bombshell claiming that certain coaches accused him of faking his injuries, and that he was soft. This obviously led him to return from injuries sooner than he should have, no doubt exasperated the problem in the first place.  This is of particular worry given his concussion history.

These claims were vigorously denied by the SRU so we don't really know what happened, but it certainly brings to the forefront the issue of physical and mental health in rugby - these are just human beings after all, with the same problems that everyone else has.  The problem is that they are under the microscope and in such a cutthroat environment that issues such as mental health are put under a lot of strain.

Extreme exercise is one of the greatest stressor you can put on your body. People don't realise because most of us are sedentary buggers who moan about eating a vegetable. There's a great book about stress called 'Why Zebras don't get Ulcers' (there is surely a PrO'12 joke in that title somewhere' - read that and tell yourself elite sportspeople have an easy life.

Witness Mike Tyson weeping with terror before he entered the ring, Crossfit games competitors fainting with stress - even an enthusiastic amateur sportsman like myself can't comprehend the he'll these guys go through simply training

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by BigGee on Wed May 04, 2016 9:59 am

I expect hat most of us rugby fans secretly wish that we could have been a professional player as well, it just seems like the dream job.

Our experience of playing, even at a decent school or club level, which many of us may have done at one stage or another may have made us believe that might have been possible.

The reality is thought that professional rugby is just at another level and that is why so few good young layers make it t that level. They constantly have to push themselves to go those extra few yards and that will inevitably include playing when not 100% fit. You hear about some players saying that they are never 100%, always carrying an injury but during the selection process and the game, no allowance is ever made for that. A miss tackle just goes down as a missed tackle and the opposition do not go easy on you, if anything and they know you re injured, they will target you. It is a results based business and our next contract depends on what you do on the pitch.

What I am trying to say is that it I massively pressurised ad you have to be completely focused. Some players do get the opportunity to wind down their careers and leave on their own terms into another career of their choosing. Plenty get that decision made for them and often before it is due, due to form, injury or the whim of a coach.

It is far from an easy life and maybe I am glad that I was not good enough!

I can see so easily why many who may have given the best years of their lives to the sport, do struggle when it is over.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 10:05 am

[quote="Stone Motif"][quote="Allty"][quote="Tattie Scones RRN"][quote="Allty"]Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.[/quote]

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.[/quote]

Just putting things into perspective Tats.    Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.  

A wise man prepares for this.
[/quote]

What an awful post.[/quote]


Why?

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by BigGee on Wed May 04, 2016 10:21 am

Allty wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
Allty wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
Allty wrote:Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.

Just putting things into perspective Tats.    Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.  

A wise man prepares for this.

What an awful post.


Why?


Probably because a lot of what you say is wrong.

Professional rugby players don't necessarily make lots of money, very few make life changing amounts and lots make very little at all.

Not many careers last to the mid 30s these days. All players are just one bad injury away from it being all over, which can happen at training, let alone on the pitch.

Many careers end suddenly and prematurely with no time to plan for the future, the player having been completely focused on what they are doing in the here and now.

Yes in the real world a lot of us have similar problems, but we don't always deal with them very well either. Your post was very unsympathetic

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 10:38 am



If we are talking just head injuries I agree

Your post goes a long way to re-enforce my posts.

All sport is just a small part of ones life and anyone who goes into any Pro sport career has to know and accept the pluses and minuses from day one

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by LondonTiger on Wed May 04, 2016 10:40 am

Hmm Alty, that sounds very much like the people who think depression can be cured by someone just choosing to snap out of it.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by munkian on Wed May 04, 2016 10:53 am

Stone Motif wrote:
Allty wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
Allty wrote:Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.

Just putting things into perspective Tats.    Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.  

A wise man prepares for this.

What an awful post.

Yeah, sounds like some of the BS advice I have received about depression several times in my life - 'Well, there are people worse off than you'


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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by marty2086 on Wed May 04, 2016 11:27 am

Allty wrote:

If we are talking just head injuries I agree

Your post goes a long way to re-enforce my posts.

All sport is just a small part of ones life and anyone who goes into any Pro sport career has to know and accept the pluses and minuses from day one

Why do they have to accept them? And why do they have to know all the pluses and minuses?

What they have to do is face them, that's different.

If they accepted the pluses and minuses they'd still be getting paid a pittance.

Lamonts career was cut short, he may have planned for a few years ahead but in that moment not having your destiny in your own hands can be hard to take and adjust to. Essentially having your body fail you and prevent you from achieving more goals is a hard thing to accept for anyone, coupled with the affects of concussion it magnifies the negatives around it all.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 11:35 am

[quote="LondonTiger"]Hmm Alty, that sounds very much like the people who think depression can be cured by someone just choosing to snap out of it.[/quote]

Lost my only son because of depression LT.

The players mentioned in the article would possibly suffer from the illness anyway.

Unless of course we are talking specificly about head injuires

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 11:37 am

[quote="munkian"][quote="Stone Motif"][quote="Allty"][quote="Tattie Scones RRN"][quote="Allty"]Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.[/quote]


A wise man prepares for this.
[/quote]



Yeah, sounds like some of the BS advice I have received about depression several times in my life - 'Well, there are people worse off than you'

[/quote]

Like having a pension plan in place maybe.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by HongKongCherry on Wed May 04, 2016 11:42 am

munkian wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
Allty wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
Allty wrote:Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.

Just putting things into perspective Tats.    Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.  

A wise man prepares for this.

What an awful post.

Yeah, sounds like some of the BS advice I have received about depression several times in my life - 'Well, there are people worse off than you'


Spot on munkian.

There is a stigma about mental health issues largely associated with a huge amount of ignorance about the subject. The likes of Lamont and Titterell should be roundly applauded for bringing this to the fore; the more the subject is discussed, the less likely people will suffer in silence. Someone in need of support should not be belittled or marginalised because of their choice of career.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 11:45 am

I agree 100% Munc & HK

But .....Come on guys blaming pro rugby for depression is a bit thin.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed May 04, 2016 11:49 am

Nor does becoming a rugby player prevent mental illness.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by marty2086 on Wed May 04, 2016 11:50 am

Allty wrote:
I agree 100% Munc

But .....Come on guys blaming pro rugby for depression is a bit thin.

Who is blaming rugby? Its a consequence of the lifestyle for some, having the routine and environment is a support for some that are more susceptible to suffering from mental illnesses, for others the loss of it is hard to take and they struggle to adapt to a different way of life, the large number of footballers in England who go through similar experiences is shockingly high, the NFL have similar issues.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by munkian on Wed May 04, 2016 12:00 pm

Its a well known issue for most professional sports people - where do you go after the buzz of your chosen profession has ended - prematurely or otherwise.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Wed May 04, 2016 1:26 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
Allty wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
Allty wrote:Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.

Just putting things into perspective Tats.    Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.  

A wise man prepares for this.

What an awful post.

Agreed. I'll try to debate it rationally, but apologies in advance Allty if I fail to do so.

The "perspective" argument holds no water. You could apply it to any life decision where loss is a possible outcome. While a "wise man" may prepare for a future after rugby in terms of career planning, that doesn't mitigate against the sense of loss. In fact, the comparison you make with service personnel is self-defeating, since an even stronger argument can be made with regard to service personnel knowing the risks they face before signing up.

You accept that institutionalisation is a real issue, then summarily dismiss it on completely unrelated grounds. No amount of money prepares a person for a sudden sea-change in their life. And the fact that he's had a 'great job' beforehand would surely only exacerbate the issue.

In a later post, you dismiss the notion that rugby could increase the likelihood of suffering depression. In that, you are at odds with the scientific community, which has found that brain injuries (such as the repeated concussions suffered by Lamont) are related to mental health problems.

All your comments on this post have been pure whataboutery, without any examination of the issue in its own context.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 1:30 pm

[quote="marty2086"][quote="Allty"]
I agree 100% Munc

But .....Come on guys blaming pro rugby for depression is a bit thin.[/quote]

Who is blaming rugby? Its a consequence of the lifestyle for some, having the routine and environment is a support for some that are more susceptible to suffering from mental illnesses, for others the loss of it is hard to take and they struggle to adapt to a different way of life, the large number of footballers in England who go through similar experiences is shockingly high, the NFL have similar issues.[/quote]

The article seems to point to the retirement from the game...

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 1:31 pm

[quote="jbeadlesbigrighthand"][quote="Stone Motif"][quote="Allty"][quote="Tattie Scones RRN"][quote="Allty"]Sounds very much like Army Vets when leaving the Forces.   The only difference is the Soldier has been shot at.  Oh  add has done his job for far less money.[/quote]

Which was his/her choice of vocation.

This is not about one point scoring Allty.[/quote]

Just putting things into perspective Tats.    Man goes into great job (Pro Rugby) man knows that he could get injured and also his career will be over mid 30 ish.  

A wise man prepares for this.
[/quote]

What an awful post.[/quote]

Agreed. I'll try to debate it rationally, but apologies in advance Allty if I fail to do so.

The "perspective" argument holds no water. You could apply it to any life decision where loss is a possible outcome. While a "wise man" may prepare for a future after rugby in terms of career planning, that doesn't mitigate against the sense of loss. In fact, the comparison you make with service personnel is self-defeating, since an even stronger argument can be made with regard to service personnel knowing the risks they face before signing up.

You accept that institutionalisation is a real issue, then summarily dismiss it on completely unrelated grounds. No amount of money prepares a person for a sudden sea-change in their life. And the fact that he's had a 'great job' beforehand would surely only exacerbate the issue.

In a later post, you dismiss the notion that rugby could increase the likelihood of suffering depression. In that, you are at odds with the scientific community, which has found that brain injuries (such as the repeated concussions suffered by Lamont) are related to mental health problems.

All your comments on this post have been pure whataboutery, without any examination of the issue in its own context.[/quote]

My comments mention head injuries which is a different matter

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed May 04, 2016 1:32 pm

I just want to know how you manage to mess up the quote function so badly.... Very Happy

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Wed May 04, 2016 1:42 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:I just want to know how you manage to mess up the quote function so badly.... Very Happy

Head injury?

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by marty2086 on Wed May 04, 2016 1:50 pm

Allty wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Allty wrote:
I agree 100% Munc

But .....Come on guys blaming pro rugby for depression is a bit thin.

Who is blaming rugby? Its a consequence of the lifestyle for some, having the routine and environment is a support for some that are more susceptible to suffering from mental illnesses, for others the loss of it is hard to take and they struggle to adapt to a different way of life, the large number of footballers in England who go through similar experiences is shockingly high, the NFL have similar issues.

The article seems to point to the retirement from the game...

How does that become rugbys fault then? Erm

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 1:56 pm

[quote="marty2086"][quote="Allty"][quote="marty2086"][quote="Allty"]
I agree 100% Munc

But .....Come on guys blaming pro rugby for depression is a bit thin.[/quote]

Who is blaming rugby? Its a consequence of the lifestyle for some, having the routine and environment is a support for some that are more susceptible to suffering from mental illnesses, for others the loss of it is hard to take and they struggle to adapt to a different way of life, the large number of footballers in England who go through similar experiences is shockingly high, the NFL have similar issues.[/quote]

The article seems to point to the retirement from the game...[/quote]

How does that become rugbys fault then? Erm [/quote]


No idea I did'nt write the article.






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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 1:58 pm

Depression can occur for many reasons. Most commonly it occurs as a reaction to a life event, such as a death, divorce, illness, redundancy or money issues. Depression can also be linked to hormone levels and so is common in women during pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and the menopause.

As already mentioned, depression can be hereditary. Studies have shown that a certain type of gene can be passed from parent to child which affects the levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain. This is a mood altering chemical which is thought to be lower in concentration in those who are more at risk of suffering depression.

Other risk factors include the excessive use of alcohol or recreational drugs, as well as the continued use of certain prescribed medications.

Please add "and Rugby retirements"

I shall not debate anymore as one or two posters are getting personal.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by marty2086 on Wed May 04, 2016 1:58 pm

Allty wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Allty wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Allty wrote:
I agree 100% Munc

But .....Come on guys blaming pro rugby for depression is a bit thin.

Who is blaming rugby? Its a consequence of the lifestyle for some, having the routine and environment is a support for some that are more susceptible to suffering from mental illnesses, for others the loss of it is hard to take and they struggle to adapt to a different way of life, the large number of footballers in England who go through similar experiences is shockingly high, the NFL have similar issues.

The article seems to point to the retirement from the game...

How does that become rugbys fault then? Erm


No idea I did'nt write the article.






No but you made the conclusion, don't you know whats in your head? Shocked

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Wed May 04, 2016 2:04 pm

Allty wrote:Depression can occur for many reasons. Most commonly it occurs as a reaction to a life event, such as a death, divorce, illness, redundancy or money issues. Depression can also be linked to hormone levels and so is common in women during pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and the menopause.

As already mentioned, depression can be hereditary. Studies have shown that a certain type of gene can be passed from parent to child which affects the levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain. This is a mood altering chemical which is thought to be lower in concentration in those who are more at risk of suffering depression.

Other risk factors include the excessive use of alcohol or recreational drugs, as well as the continued use of certain prescribed medications.

Please add "and Rugby retirements"

I shall not debate anymore as one or two posters are getting personal.

If the "personal remarks" came from me, I'll apologise now.

In your first list of causes of depression you include major life events related to stress and grief. Retirement is one such example. Retirement from a field where your job has defined your identify and dominated every aspect of your life - such as sports or the armed forces - must make this all the greater.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed May 04, 2016 2:08 pm

munkian wrote:Its a well known issue for most professional sports people - where do you go after the buzz of your chosen profession has ended - prematurely or otherwise.

The same could be said for investment bankers, they have a fairly huge depression rate too. Yet I have never heard much sympathy for them.

The thing with mental illness is that it can hit anyone, and the triggers for it can occur for various reasons. We all have or know of bosses that will push people to the point of mental breakdown (or whatever the correct term is) and even beyond, purely because they were unaware of the signs of what was going on. Yes, it is a shame for rugby players who have gone through this, but I am not too sure why it warrants a special mention over any other person from any other profession.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by marty2086 on Wed May 04, 2016 2:20 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
munkian wrote:Its a well known issue for most professional sports people - where do you go after the buzz of your chosen profession has ended - prematurely or otherwise.

The same could be said for investment bankers, they have a fairly huge depression rate too.  Yet I have never heard much sympathy for them.

The thing with mental illness is that it can hit anyone, and the triggers for it can occur for various reasons.  We all have or know of bosses that will push people to the point of mental breakdown (or whatever the correct term is) and even beyond, purely because they were unaware of the signs of what was going on.  Yes, it is a shame for rugby players who have gone through this, but I am not too sure why it warrants a special mention over any other person from any other profession.

On this forum? Maybe because it relates to an ongoing issue such as concussion?

In society? To challenge the stigma of it all maybe?

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed May 04, 2016 2:23 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
munkian wrote:Its a well known issue for most professional sports people - where do you go after the buzz of your chosen profession has ended - prematurely or otherwise.

The same could be said for investment bankers, they have a fairly huge depression rate too.  Yet I have never heard much sympathy for them.

The thing with mental illness is that it can hit anyone, and the triggers for it can occur for various reasons.  We all have or know of bosses that will push people to the point of mental breakdown (or whatever the correct term is) and even beyond, purely because they were unaware of the signs of what was going on.  Yes, it is a shame for rugby players who have gone through this, but I am not too sure why it warrants a special mention over any other person from any other profession.

I think it is because something can easily be done about it in rugby - i.e. more support can be offered, and more understanding can lead to a reduction in those affected by it hopefully.

My company has an employee assistance programme where me, my family, or anyone that I know really can call up and get advice on a range of problems ranging from mental health to financial worries.

Do rugby clubs do the same thing for the people that play it?

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by LordDowlais on Wed May 04, 2016 2:53 pm

Reading this it is very hard to gauge and debate with people because we all have our own personal experience with this sort of topic.

But as an employer I will tell you my own practises, as an employer I must show due diligence to my employees. I have to make sure they have everything they need to do their jobs and I need to make sure that they are doing their jobs properly. But, above all this I always make sure that they are all OK and stress and problem free. If I spot something wrong or I get wind of something that is up, I give that person the best help I can provide, whether it is advice, time off, or a pep talk. Most of all I try and be a shoulder to cry on. 

These things should not be something that is put in place, these should be part of life, I would hope that every person working in any field would get this treatment, not just privvy to rugby players. You see the thing is, mental health is everybody's problem, it does not just affect professional sports people. I would also suggest that long bouts of concussion do not bring it on either, rather it is the fear of it that brings on the mental problems.

These things we all can look out for in a person and help, whilst I applaud Rory Lamont for bringing such issues into the public eye, to say that concussion is the problem for depression is sending out the wrong message.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by marty2086 on Wed May 04, 2016 3:16 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
These things should not be something that is put in place, these should be part of life, I would hope that every person working in any field would get this treatment, not just privvy to rugby players. You see the thing is, mental health is everybody's problem, it does not just affect professional sports people. I would also suggest that long bouts of concussion do not bring it on either, rather it is the fear of it that brings on the mental problems.

These things we all can look out for in a person and help, whilst I applaud Rory Lamont for bringing such issues into the public eye, to say that concussion is the problem for depression is sending out the wrong message.

LD, did you read the article? Lamont doesn't blame, RDW made the link. Its also a proven fact that concussions, especially repeated concussions, increase the likelihood of mental illnesses such as depression. There have been numerous studies and legal cases, particularly in the US, regarding CTE.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by LordDowlais on Wed May 04, 2016 3:29 pm

marty2086 wrote:LD, did you read the article? Lamont doesn't blame, RDW made the link. Its also a proven fact that concussions, especially repeated concussions, increase the likelihood of mental illnesses such as depression. There have been numerous studies and legal cases, particularly in the US, regarding CTE.


Yes, I appreciate this marty, I really do. I also would like to thank Rory Lamont for bringing this out into the public eye, but reading the article, I think the real reason for his mental issues are from the pressures put on him by the people who employed him, and the people who were employed to look after him. 

They should have spotted his problems and helped him deal with them, but unfortunately for him they not only did not believe him, but it looks as though they made his problems worse, they did not show due diligence to their employee. His mental problems started because he was not fit for purpose yet his employees did not think he was telling the truth.

Things like this are not just privvy to professional sports, its a pandemic within our society, I also doubt that even if Rory was believed about his concussions and given the right time to heal, he would have still faced mental issues due to the pressures put on him within the environment he was employed. Some people can handle it a lot better than others, that is why help should be provided as early as possible.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed May 04, 2016 3:53 pm

RDW & Marty, rugby players with depression don't have depression due to rugby though. Try have it because they are human. Rugby players also get cancer, and other really horrible stuff. Is it really our place to sit here and discuss it? Send support messages and/or sympathies, depending on what the illness is, yes fine. But it's a personal issue, and people should be allowed to go through personal issues themselves.

Not really an online bickering forum topic as its only ever going to end up in a pretty distasteful way.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed May 04, 2016 3:58 pm

I don't remember ever claiming that his depression was caused by rugby, and if that has come across then that's not what I intended.

As like most people I do have personal involvement in the matter from close family relations and certainly don't treat it trivially.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 4:00 pm

Ss Just what I'm trying to say but you have put it in a clearer way

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Allty on Wed May 04, 2016 4:03 pm

The writer of the article says in the first Para

The end of the domestic season is looming but, in many ways, a more important debate is only just beginning in earnest. Does it really matter who wins trophies when an increasing number of players are struggling to cope with the intense mental strain of professional sport? Rugby union is not alone in having participants who suffer from depression but to what extent, if any, is the game itself to blame for the apparent rise in unhappiness?

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by BigGee on Wed May 04, 2016 4:06 pm

To give you some idea of the kind of environment he was in, did you see the public slating the Toulon owner gave to his team and his pack of forwards in particular after they lost to Toulouse at the weekend.

I think it is fair to say that he has not read your good employers handbook LD!

In any environment like that and lets be honest, while he may be the worst, he is not the only one, is it any wonder that players and coaches keep their heads down and say nothing!

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by marty2086 on Wed May 04, 2016 4:09 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:RDW & Marty, rugby players with depression don't have depression due to rugby though.  Try have it because they are human.  Rugby players also get cancer, and other really horrible stuff.  Is it really our place to sit here and discuss it?  Send support messages and/or sympathies, depending on what the illness is, yes fine.  But it's a personal issue, and people should be allowed to go through personal issues themselves.

Not really an online bickering forum topic as its only ever going to end up in a pretty distasteful way.

From your comments it seems the discussion might be important as your comments show a lack of knowledge on the matter, as I have said earlier there are numerous studies showing concussion increases the risk of mental illnesses such as depression and legal cases are ongoing with the NFL and NHL, some have also been settled because of the damage concussion caused to players. Some are anticipating a similar case for rugby.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Stone Motif on Wed May 04, 2016 4:14 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:LD, did you read the article? Lamont doesn't blame, RDW made the link. Its also a proven fact that concussions, especially repeated concussions, increase the likelihood of mental illnesses such as depression. There have been numerous studies and legal cases, particularly in the US, regarding CTE.


Yes, I appreciate this marty, I really do. I also would like to thank Rory Lamont for bringing this out into the public eye, but reading the article, I think the real reason for his mental issues are from the pressures put on him by the people who employed him, and the people who were employed to look after him. 

They should have spotted his problems and helped him deal with them, but unfortunately for him they not only did not believe him, but it looks as though they made his problems worse, they did not show due diligence to their employee. His mental problems started because he was not fit for purpose yet his employees did not think he was telling the truth.

Things like this are not just privvy to professional sports, its a pandemic within our society, I also doubt that even if Rory was believed about his concussions and given the right time to heal, he would have still faced mental issues due to the pressures put on him within the environment he was employed. Some people can handle it a lot better than others, that is why help should be provided as early as possible.

clap

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Stone Motif on Wed May 04, 2016 4:19 pm

BigGee wrote:To give you some idea of the kind of environment he was in, did you see the public slating the Toulon owner gave to his team and his pack of forwards in particular after they lost to Toulouse at the weekend.

I think it is fair to say that he has not read your good employers handbook LD!

In any environment like that and lets be honest, while he may be the worst, he is not the only one, is it any wonder that players and coaches keep their heads down and say nothing!

Part of the blind alley rugby had led itself up where physicality and contact have replaced awareness of space. You have coaches like Warren Gatland being paid huge sums at the top end of the game and his sole plan is to get his players bigger and better at running into the guy in front of them. It's rewarding a lack of imagination and encouraging a lack of regard for player welfare.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed May 04, 2016 4:24 pm

marty2086 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:RDW & Marty, rugby players with depression don't have depression due to rugby though.  Try have it because they are human.  Rugby players also get cancer, and other really horrible stuff.  Is it really our place to sit here and discuss it?  Send support messages and/or sympathies, depending on what the illness is, yes fine.  But it's a personal issue, and people should be allowed to go through personal issues themselves.

Not really an online bickering forum topic as its only ever going to end up in a pretty distasteful way.

From your comments it seems the discussion might be important as your comments show a lack of knowledge on the matter, as I have said earlier there are numerous studies showing concussion increases the risk of mental illnesses such as depression and legal cases are ongoing with the NFL and NHL, some have also been settled because of the damage concussion caused to players. Some are anticipating a similar case for rugby.

It will be interesting to see what happens if/when this arrives in rugby.

There are a lot of very public examples of coaches not exactly having player welfare as their number one priority!

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by BigGee on Wed May 04, 2016 4:31 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:RDW & Marty, rugby players with depression don't have depression due to rugby though.  Try have it because they are human.  Rugby players also get cancer, and other really horrible stuff.  Is it really our place to sit here and discuss it?  Send support messages and/or sympathies, depending on what the illness is, yes fine.  But it's a personal issue, and people should be allowed to go through personal issues themselves.

Not really an online bickering forum topic as its only ever going to end up in a pretty distasteful way.

From your comments it seems the discussion might be important as your comments show a lack of knowledge on the matter, as I have said earlier there are numerous studies showing concussion increases the risk of mental illnesses such as depression and legal cases are ongoing with the NFL and NHL, some have also been settled because of the damage concussion caused to players. Some are anticipating a similar case for rugby.

It will be interesting to see what happens if/when this arrives in rugby.

There are a lot of very public examples of coaches not exactly having player welfare as their number one priority!

Yes it will be interesting.

In 20/30 years time will we see George Smith, or his family, suing the ARU for letting go back onto the pitch in the match against the Lions, or George North against the WRU or Simon Webster against the SRU.

Litigation does change practice, at least rugby does appear to be making some attempts to pre-empt that and I hope we will never see examples like that in our game again.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed May 04, 2016 5:05 pm

marty2086 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:RDW & Marty, rugby players with depression don't have depression due to rugby though.  Try have it because they are human.  Rugby players also get cancer, and other really horrible stuff.  Is it really our place to sit here and discuss it?  Send support messages and/or sympathies, depending on what the illness is, yes fine.  But it's a personal issue, and people should be allowed to go through personal issues themselves.

Not really an online bickering forum topic as its only ever going to end up in a pretty distasteful way.

From your comments it seems the discussion might be important as your comments show a lack of knowledge on the matter, as I have said earlier there are numerous studies showing concussion increases the risk of mental illnesses such as depression and legal cases are ongoing with the NFL and NHL, some have also been settled because of the damage concussion caused to players. Some are anticipating a similar case for rugby.

Your first sentence couldn't be further from the truth picard This is why an online forum is really not the place to have these sorts of discussions.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

Post by Fanster on Wed May 04, 2016 6:09 pm

Firstly lets get off the comparison of NFL/NHL and rugby, multi directional blows regularly to the head, and designed to be, but also using the head is far different to rugby where 99% of collisions don't involve the head.

Secondly, there are people in the USA who sue Mcdonalds if their coffee is too hot, or for making them fat.

The sports aren't as similar as they seem, and the culture isn't either.

With regards to Lamont, it's difficult to empathise with someone who complains so publicly that his job, of which millions world wide would kill for, has ended too early, and too brutally, of which he must have known was approaching, all the while blaming coaches, medical staff and his governing body.

I don't want to say if he's right to speak out, or whether he's wrong, but you can see why people struggle to emphathise, or sympathise too much. It's like a guy complaining about his toilet seat because the gold gives him blisters.

With regards to concussion, i'm not sure many people know much about the subject at all, and with all the media and NGB furore it has become this big fear for anyone who leaves the comfort of their own bed. It's an area to be aware of, but an area the NGB's, including the SRU take extremely seriously.

Again, with Marlers recent actions, to hear what could be potential excuses seems a little too conveniant 'No I'm not a psychotic monster who can't control himself, it's clearly an illness out of my hands'. I'm not saying I don't beleive him, but wouldn't slate those who didn't.

Cases worthy of the attention would be those within probably the highest pressure environment on earth, in New Zealand. The expectation of performance and victory really does cause behaviours in NZ players that are out of character:

Jerry Collins , Cory Jane, and allegations of substance abuse being widespread in NZ pro players. Even Doug Howlett and numerous others abusing alcohol, Mils Muliaina, Leo Liua'ana etc...

There is clearly an issue, public relation missions, and underprepared retirees are just recent examples of a large number of issues.

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Re: We need to talk about mental health

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