footballers said they suf

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footballers said they suf

PostPostao/la lw789 » 08 stu 2018, 03:41

LONDON -- One in four professional footballers said they suffer symptoms of anxiety and depression in a new study into the sports largely unexplored "dark side" of mental illness. The mental health of recently retired professional footballers was even more worrisome, with one in three reporting signs of anxiety and depression. Some 300 current and former professionals -- from the Netherlands, Major League Soccer, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand -- took part in the study for the players union, FIFPro. While football can draw on reams of scientific study about players physical injuries, little research has previously been done into their mental health, and mental health problems have remained very much taboo in the sport, FIFPro chief medical officer Vincent Gouttebarge said. "There is definitely some dark side of professional football," he said in an interview. "We dont talk about mental health issues in football, or we didnt talk about this issue," he added. "Its quite a macho culture so people do not talk about it." Gouttebarge said the studys findings suggest that professional footballers are no less prone to mental illness than other younger people in the general population. He said that might surprise fans who believe footballers live comfortable, worry-free lives, with media attention often focusing on the wealth of the most successful players. "Contrary to what people think, professional footballers experience psychological problems just like other groups in the population," Gouttebarge said. Among the 180 active footballers who responded to the lengthy questionnaire, 10 per cent reported symptoms of distress, five per cent reported signs of burnout and three per cent said they suffered from low self-esteem. Nearly 20 per cent reported problems with alcohol, which Gouttebarge said could include binge drinking and regularly drinking too much, and seven per cent said they smoked. The 121 former professionals who responded on average had 12-year playing careers and have been retired for five years. Fifteen per cent showed signs of burnout and 18 per cent signs of distress. One in three reported drinking problems, 12 per cent smoked, and 39 per cent reported suffering from depression and anxiety. Gouttebarge said that could include worrying, mood swings, difficulties sleeping, feeling stressed, not being sociable or a combination of symptoms. "Mental illness seems to occur among former professional footballers more often than in current players, and more often than in other populations. Consequently, mental illness among former professional footballers cannot be underestimated and should be a subject of interest for all stakeholders in football," the study said. Retirement was "really a critical period," with players abruptly losing the structure of regular training and the support of being in a club, Gouttebarge said. "You have to find a new life," he said. "It can put you under a lot of stress." Long-term injuries and surgeries that take players out of the game and away from close, regular contact with teammates can also be factors in mental health problems. Being forced to stop playing professionally because of injury or because clubs wont offer another contract can be particularly hard to cope with, Gouttebarge noted. "This has been recognized in other sports as a huge cause of mental health issues," he said. "The guy who is willing to retire or to stop his career is really (in) a different kind of situation to the one who is forced to retire." He called the study "a good first step" toward identifying the scope of mental health issues in football. The survey is expanding to players in France and from French-speaking nations in Africa, with plans to also study players in Spanish-speaking countries and Japan, Gouttebarge said. Cheap Jerseys . 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NFL Jerseys Outlet . The Rangers centre left early in Game 1 with an upper body injury after being checked by Canadiens defenceman Mike Weaver and has not played since. Brassard told reporters after practice that he was good to go. That brought a smile to the face of Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.Boiled down to its very essence, mixed martial arts is a battle of wills. When the octagon door shuts, two fighters compete to see who can impose theirs, while simultaneously breaking their opponents. All the technical gifts in the world will only take you so far if you dont have the mental strength to weather the storm when things go south. However, the source of an athletes fortitude is always unique to the individual. For Randa Markos, her attitude towards fighting is both tragic and inspirational. Following a childhood characterized by abuse at the hands of her alcoholic father, the Iraqi-Canadians mantra is clearly stated: "If my father couldnt break me, no one can." During an interview in downtown Toronto, Markos said she hopes to be an example for people who are forced to live in violent households. "There were many times where I thought, I want to end my life. Its only me going through this, but there are a lot of people like that," said Markos. "I wish I could go back and tell myself, Dont worry; its going to get better. Lifes not always going to be this way." "Thats the message I want to give out to everyone. Thats why I want to tell my story. Its why I am who I am today, because of the way I was raised. But I took it and turned it into a positive." Markos will be featured on The Ultimate Fighter: Pettis vs. Melendez, which debuts Sept. 10. The upcoming season of the popular reality series features a cast of womens strawweight fighters. The winner will be crowned the inaugural UFC 115-pound champion. Though she now has the opportunity to make her dream of winning UFC gold a reality, her road to the worlds largest MMA organization was filled with hardships. FLEEING THE MIDDLE EAST Born in Iraq, Markos was only three years old when her family fled the country in the late 80s, during its conflict with Iran. A solider in the Iraqi military, Markos father feared for his life when the members of his unit were killed. After arriving in Turkey, the family was held at gunpoint and imprisoned because they didnt have proper identification. Markos was too young to remember most of the ordeal, but has clear memories of the sweltering room where she was detained. As she and her siblings grew up — she has two brothers and a sister — her parents began telling stories of their struggle to make it to Canada. "Theres one that my mom told me that really shocked me — Ill never forget it," Markos began. "When we were trying to escape from the Middle East, we ended up being held hostage with seven other young men in their early 20s. They started taking care of me, my sister and my mom, getting us food and clothing. "When they called us all out ... they only called out the men. They didnt call us. So my mom thought they were going to kill us, or send us back to (Iraq). So she was freaking out. She kept saying, Why didnt you call my name? They were like, Just be quiet. Then they took all the men, lined them all up in front of her and shot them all." Following their brush with death, Markos family was released after her parents pleaded their intention to move to Canada, where they would eventually settle down in Windsor, Ont. NEW LIFE IN CANADA Though they had now left a war zone behind, Markos mother and siblings were not free from violence and terror. Harbouring guilt from the deaths of his fellow soldiers, Markos father found solace in the bottle. Struggling with his own personal demons, he began to physically lash out at his loved ones. "Because he was in the army and how he was brought up, it kind of mentally messed him up," Markos said. "You know, witnessing everyone he was with just die in front of him. He was a very attached kind of person. He would stay behind and, though the people were dead, he would hold them and bury them. "So mentally, it really triggered something. When we came to Canada, he became really abusive. He got into alcohol. All of our memories, every Christmas was ruined, every holiday was ruined. That was our whole childhood." As a result of the regular violence at home, Markos often considered running away, but always opted to stay for the sake of her mother — even if it meant fearing for her own life. "One time, I really thought he was going to kill me," Markos said. "It was 1 a.m. and I think he had just gambled (and lost) a bunch of money. He just wanted to take it out on someone and I was awake. He grabbed me by my hair and dragged me into the hallway. I thought then that my life was over — this is it. My brother came up behind him and bashed him over the head with a hairdryer, then he finally let go." After years of suffering both physical and mental abuse, Markos finally began to stand up to her father. Initially, this meant calling the police so he could spend the night in jail. However, she was soon forced to resort to physical retaliation. Markos vividly remembers the first time she fought back. "The first time I ever stood up to him, he was about to attack my mom," she said. "I grabbed a chair and pinned him up against the wall. He was like, What the hell? What are you doing? I just said, Dont ever touch her again. You just went insane. He was shocked. My brothers and my sister were shocked, too, because nobody had ever stood up to him. He hated my guts ever since then, but I didnt care. I just kept doing it." FINNDING AN ESCAPE With her home life in turmoil, Markos soon discovered a constructive outlet for all her negative energy — high school wrestling.dddddddddddd. Not only was it an opportunity to apply her mind to one of the worlds oldest martial arts, it offered the kind of warm and accepting atmosphere lacking in her home life. Of course, in order to make practice she also had to lie to her father, telling him she had joined the volleyball team. "When I got there, it just felt like such a family environment," Markos said. "No matter what was going on in my house, I would go into the gym, leave everything at the door and just be happy for an hour or two hours. My coaches were like father figures to me. Everyone else were like brothers and sisters. "We just had so much fun learning and getting better at wrestling, especially at competitions. When you did well, you would feel good about yourself — you accomplished something. It just felt good. It was nice to have somewhere to go when everything else was so messed up." As fate would have it, Markos would also meet her future husband, Jeff Thomas, on her wrestling team. Friends during high school, they bumped into each other years later at the Tim Hortons where Markos worked. The two began dating soon after. "(My first impression was) just that I didnt want to lose to her," said Thomas, who admitted Markos would eventually get the better of him on the mat. "Our coach always said, Oh, you better not lose to a girl, and joke around. She was really good, too. It was hard. We were probably in the same weight class and I would try not to lose to her. "I always had a crush on her through wrestling. It never really came out until after, when we met a couple years after high school. We started talking and I told her I had a crush on her the whole time, but didnt know how to approach her." INTRODUCTION TO MMA Following high school, Markos was left without an avenue to continue wrestling.This understandably left a void in her life. Wrestling had helped her through so many rough patches, but it was now no longer an option. It wasnt until she had begun dating Thomas that she was introduced to Brazilian jiu jitsu, kickboxing and MMA. After seeing him compete in person, she knew shed found a new passion. "I first got into jiu jitsu and it reminded me of wrestling so much," Markos said. "When I finished off wrestling, I wasnt satisfied with how far I took it. I wanted to get out of Windsor and continue with it, see how far I could take it, but I wasnt allowed to leave the city. "When I saw jiu jitsu, it was so similar ... to wrestling. I thought, Lets see how far I can take this sport. Thats when I got into it. My coaches were like, Man, you can take this pretty far. So then I watched him fight and was like, Thats what Im going to do." It didnt take long for Markos to set her sight on the big time. Initially, she aimed to land a fight in Invicta FC, but admitted a UFC contract was always her long-term goal. However, getting noticed proved more difficult than she anticipated. TURNING PRO After assembling an impressive 7-1 amateur record in MMA, Markos decided to go pro in order to secure more fights after a number of opponents fell through. However, this did little to help the problem. It wasnt until she netted a submission win over Allanna Jones in late 2012 in her professional debut that consistent bout offers came across her plate. After going 4-1 as a professional, she now has the opportunity to showcase her skills to a wide audience as a cast member on TUF. Markos said she hopes to use the UFC platform to spread a positive message to those who are struggling with abuse. "It would be nice to hear, I went through the same thing. I took your advice, made it into a positive thing for myself and followed my dreams," said Markos. "Thats want I want to hear, especially from women. I was raised in a family where doing what I do was completely embarrassing and disgusting. You know, Im a woman and Im doing that when I should be getting married and having kids. Were just as good as anybody else. "Just because were Middle Eastern doesnt mean that our options are limited. We have all the options in the world. We just have to step outside of the box theyve created for us and follow our dreams." FAMILY LIFE TODAY Markos dad now lives by himself, away from the rest of his family. While her siblings have opted to essentially distance themselves from their father, she still visits him regularly. Though hes never shown contrition for his actions — and Markos has never forgiven him — she refuses to turn her back on her roots. Shes worked hard to make a better life for herself, but sometimes negative influences can yield positive results. "I dont forgive him for the things that hes done, but hes still my father," Markos said. "Hes been through a lot of stuff in his life. Youve got to be a pretty strong person to overcome all that stuff and come out of it normal. "We stopped him from continuing what he was doing. We got him out of our house and to allow us to live a normal life. Thats all we wanted, but we still care about him. We still love him. My family doesnt really visit him, but I want him to know that we still care about him, even though hes made some bad decisions and done some bad stuff. Hes still my dad." 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