One of the huge factors that contribute to mental health becoming worse in our current athletes is injury, they can occur at any moment and in the blink of an eye, your career could be over. One minute you could be representing your high-level team or even your country and the next minute your dream is done for good all because of an unexpected injury. Unfortunately not every athlete has a backup plan that they can fall back on if their sporting dream does come to a sudden end. You’ll find that a lot of people isolate themselves from their friends and family because they feel like there’s nothing else for them to do because all they wanted to do was play a sport.Depression is the biggest outcome that occurs after an injury and unfortunately, 45% of people in Australia at some point in their lifetime will experience some form of depression. Most people would just look past the statistics because they think their lives are great and nothing bad will ever happen to them. Unfortunately for them no one’s perfect and the people that suddenly suffer from mental health are the ones who don’t think they’ll ever experience it. An example of an athlete who had their career ended by injuries and has fallen victim to mental health issues is former Brisbane Lions defender Justin Clarke. Just 22 years of age Justin had suffered too many concussions and was one away from a serious problem. Then in a pre-season training, he clashed heads with a teammate and as a result, his career was cut short and was told he would never play a contact sport again because of the risk of another head knock that could seriously affect his health. Justin was a very smart guy who was studying aeronautical engineering at the time and because of the concussion, it took away his ability for his brain to functions properly meaning he would no longer be able to pursue a career that he wanted. Unfortunately for Justin the confusion didn’t just make him open to mental health is also seriously damaged his brain, he’d regularly forget where he was going and completely forget certain events that have happened to him. Isolation and depression started to kick in for Justin as he chose to keep to himself because he couldn’t remember events he’d have with friends and family and he couldn’t even have a conversation with someone without forgetting what he was talking about. Luckily for Justin, he reached out for help and found out that everyone was committed to helping him get better and now doctors say he will eventually become healthy again despite originally being told he would have brain problems for the rest of his life.
All types of injuries can cause mental health issues, even something as small as a broken finger could lead to some sort of mental health problem. A player could be told he would miss a week because of an injury and his replacement could play extremely well, straight away you would feel like you wouldn’t be getting your spot in the team back and could find your mindset become extremely negative. You need to realize that life isn’t always gonna be on your side and that sometimes instead of sitting back you need to work even harder to prove to everyone that you’re mentally strong and healthy. Although you may be struggling with injury it’s not always up to you to seek guidance, your friends can give you reassurance that everything is gonna work out and immediately you feel like you’re positive again.
Help is always gonna be out there if you chose to take it, so many people suffer from mental health so you shouldn’t feel alone. As mates, it should be crucial that you always make sure your friends are doing alright because by saying a few words to them it could totally change their mindset in a good way. If you ever receive a career ending injury it’s not the end of the world, there are so many more opportunities for you that you can pursue instead of rolling up in a ball and giving up. You could discover something you love even more than a sport that you would have never known because you hadn’t received the injury, everything happens for a reason and anything negative can always turn into a positive.