Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Cricket

Jonathan Trott saga shows stigma surrounding depression

By Kevin Garside

Published 26/11/2013

Jonathan Trott
Jonathan Trott

It wasn't David Warner's sledging that led to Jonathan Trott's abrupt exit from the Ashes. Trott was said to be suffering from stress. So stigmatised is the term "depression" we had to find a polite way of sending Trott home.

Professional athletes are operating in extremis at a level of intensity and scrutiny beyond the comprehension of ordinary folk. Any weakness or frailty, be it technical or mental, is ruthlessly exposed.

Some, like Trott's fellow cricketer Marcus Trescothick and footballer Stan Collymore have spoken openly about their struggles at the top end of the food chain. The wonder is more sportsmen and women do not suffer a similar unravelling.

The cricketing life imposes its own unique strains given the long stretches in which participants are removed from their domestic setting.

We should thank the sledgers for bringing into view an illness that afflicts millions and is too often filed and forgotten under the sanitised banner "mental health issue."

In the main the hardened nature of the alpha male protects against the inane chirping of inadequate bullies in the sporting context.

Most laugh it off or meet fire with fire. Warner is self-evidently an offensive, boorish creature, but is a symptom not the cause of cricket's dated attachment to outmoded rules of machismo.

The real courage inheres in Trott, admitting to a condition that carries unacceptable stigma and returning home to fight a battle that for many is never completely won. We wish him well in his struggle.

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph