Sports Injury and the Depression Connection

Some Sports "Heroes"(??)
In the  climactic chapter in Dr. Neil Nedley's seminal work on understanding and dealing holistically with depression for the layperson, Depression: The Way Out, Dr. Nedley goes into some detail about the importance of the frontal lobe(s) of the brain where depression is concerned.

The frontal lobe, or "Crown of the Brain", is acknowledged to be the spiritual and moral seat of the brain.  It is the control center for all conscious brain functions related to depression recovery such as identifying and acting on strategies to help overcome depression.  An impairment of the frontal lobe, such as can be caused by a severe blow to the head, concussion, or the like, can make it very difficult (sometimes near impossible) for the person with the brain injury to identify resulting depression and to implement effective lifestyle strategies for recovery from the depression.
Dr. Nedley posits that minimizing the potential for brain injury includes preventing the kind of physical injury that can be inflicted through sports-- wear protective gear, such as helmets when you're biking!  But even more to the point, if you truly want to minimize the risk of  injuries to the frontal lobe, it is advised that one avoids high risk contact sports such as boxing, football and motorcycling.
In the society and time in which we live in which there is a fascination with "extreme" sports and spectator team sports that have embedded in them, seemingly, a goal to be roughed up and to rough up just for the sheer entertainment value.

It is ironic that one of the more arguably physically violent contact sports, British football, is in the news today with Celtics Football Manager, Neil Lennon, who is speaking up about his own struggle with depression, and his suggestion to his players that they just go and talk to someone about their depression, get some medication, do what they need to to overcome it.  In his words: "This thing stays with you 24/7, the low mood, the anxiety, the stress - just go and speak to somebody about it, whether it be a loved one or a professional person, and it halves the problem for you." 


While this looks like good advice, Dr. Nedley's book would seem to cast doubt on the efficacy of "just go[ing] speak to somebody about it."  Most traditional 'talk therapy' is shown to be no more effective than a placebo pill where depression recovery is concerned.  Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy has shown to be a more effective psychotherapy in dealing with depression, but if depressed footballers have had repeated blows to the head, are they even going to recognize their frustrations and feelings of emptiness as symptoms of depression?  Are they going to opt out of football to preserve what they have left of a functioning frontal lobe?  It appears that their depressed Manager at the Celtics Football Club is not suggesting they go this far in circumnavigating future depression.  Pity.

**Youth Athlete Brain injuries have surged 60% over the past 9 years! 
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Turn off the news. Throw away the newspaper. Get outside and go for a walk. Dr. Christiane Northrup said going for a walk is a perfectly acceptable form of treatment for certain types of depression!