Following Wales national team coach Gary Speed's by apparent suicide, BigSoccer.com blogger Martin del Palacio examines the until recently taboo subject of depression in soccer.
Things started to change after German goalie Robert Enke, whose depression was known, killed himself two years ago, but del Palacio says players suffering from depression should be encouraged to get help.
He quotes former English player Stan Collymore on his long fight against depression: “If your mind is empty, your brain ceases to function, your body is pinned to the bed, the future is a dark room with no light and this is your reality, it takes a massive leap of faith to know that this time next week, life could be running again, smiling, my world big and my brain back as it should be. So what do some do? They don’t take the leap of faith, they address a practical problem with a practical solution to them, and that is taking their own life. And sadly, too many take that route out of this hell.
"I’m typing and my brain is full, cloudy and detached but I know I need to elaborate on what I’m going through because there are so many going through this that need to know it’s an illness, just an illness. Not bad, mad, crazy or weak, just ill."