Tragic Loss Sheds Light on a Need for Psychotherapy and Counselling as an Intervention

Psychotherapy and Counselling can be a Vital Intervention when Life Feels Overwhelming

The recent tragic suicide of the footballer and former Wales manager, Gary Speed highlights again the growing problem of hidden depression, particularly amongst men.

Although it is not yet known whether Mr. Speed suffered from depression, it seems hard to imagine that he was not suffering from some form of mental stress for him to have taken such a course of action. This thinking is supported by the PFA who have reissued a booklet offering advice and support regarding depression to 50,000 former players. This booklet was initially issued after the deaths of footballers Dale Roberts and Robert Enke.

The over riding reaction to the news of Mr. Speed’s passing from the people who knew him seems to be that of complete shock that there was anything wrong that could have lead to him taking his own life, in fact, quite the opposite. He is reported to have given no signs of what he was thinking and was planning his future career.

Men have traditionally found it hard to seek help from others when the issue is one of mental health, made all the more difficult when working in a male dominated environment. Talking of stress, anxiety and fears may be perceived as being weak and consequently not being up to the job.

Clarke Carlisle, The Burnley defender, believes that the fear of being ‘outed’ by the media causes players to bury their feelings of depression and not address them. He said, ‘Unsurprisingly players known for physical fitness rarely talk about mental distress. Indeed many may not recognise what it is to know or how to seek help for stress, anxiety or depression when it strikes”.

This attitude towards mental distress seems to be repeated throughout many different and varied work places where sufferers feel they cannot turn to their family and friends and either do not know or feel unable to seek help and support from professionals such as psychotherapists or counsellors.

However, working with a professional psychotherapist or counsellor gives the opportunity to explore emotional issues that are being battled with. They can offer a safe, confidential, non judgemental environment, separate from the other areas of life. Seeking support from a psychotherapist or counsellor is an important step forward in looking at and learning to cope with emotional difficulties before they feel overwhelming and hopeless.

The Psychotherapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice at 121 Harley Street, London, have many years experience successfully working with mental stress and depression.