Depression: Why Do Some People Get Depressed When They Give Up Extreme Sports?


In recent years, a lot has been said about mental and emotional health and how so many people are not in a good way. Largely, the focus has been on the inner challenges that the average person is trying to deal with.

Along with this, there have been times when different celebrities have come out and spoken about their own challenges. In general, these have been actors, singers and reality TV stars.

Another Area

At times, sports stars have come out and spoken about the challenges that they have had. There have also been retired sports stars that have spoken about how hard it has been for them at different periods.

Taking all these examples into account, it could be said that it doesn’t matter who someone is as they are not immune from having mental and emotional challenges. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be right to say that there is one reason why someone would end up in a bad way.

A Different Scenario

If someone was taking part in a sport that was extremely competitive and even highly dangerous for many years, it could be said that it is to be expected that it will be a challenge for them to live a ‘normal’ life. Regardless of if this was something that involved them being in a stadium or an arena full of people, it will be as if they are now on the sidelines in life.

Therefore, they will still live on the same planet but it will be as though they are somewhere else entirely. Their life will no longer have the same meaning and neither will they have the same inner experience.

A Natural Outcome

So, in the same way that someone’s life will never be the same again if they have lost another person, their life will never be the same again now that they have called time on what they were doing for so long. The difference here is that the life that they had will have come to an end as opposed to another human beings life.

Before this point, they would have had a clear idea about who they were and what they did and now, they might not know who they are or what they are going to do. Their ego will have lost the structure that gave it stability and now it will be searching for something else to identify with so that it can feel stable once again.

All at Sea

What their mind could do is end up fantasising about making a return to what they did before, even if this is not an option. Perhaps they had to retire due to an injury or because they were no longer good enough to compete.

Their mind is then going to do what it can to stop them from coming to terms with reality and accepting what is going on. To this part of them, letting go of an identity will be seen as death.

Another Element

What also needs to be taken into account, when it comes to why someone like this would be in a bad way after they have called time on their career, is that they will no longer get the stimulation that they used to get. This will deprive them of a lot, if not all, of the adrenaline that they used to experience.

This would have allowed them to feel alive yet, without it, they can feel as though they are almost dead. Going from so much stimulation to so little will be a massive shock to their system.

A Vulnerable Position

If this gets too much for them to handle, and they don’t reach out for support, they could consider or even end their life. Another thing that they could do, to change how they experience life, is to find something else that will give them an adrenaline rush.

They could end up getting hooked on gambling, drugs or engage in another activity that will change their inner state. Perhaps a more productive option would be for them to serve as a mentor or a coach to those who are up and coming in the sport that they have retired from.

Going Back

This wouldn’t be as intense but it would give them a focus while they adapt to not having the same amount of stimulation. If they just stop what they are doing and do nothing, it will be like going cold turkey – it will be too much to handle.

Before they started doing what they used to do before they might not have experienced much adrenalin, which will show that they gradually came to adapt to living in this way. Then again, from a very young age, they may have been hooked on it.

Potential Reasons

Perhaps their early years were a time when they experienced some kind of trauma, or this might go back to what too took place whilst they were in the womb. Either way, what they went through during this stage of their life would have set them up live in fight or flight mode and thus, to experience high amounts of adrenaline.

Therefore, being loaded up with adrenaline is what would have been normal from very early on, which would then have unconsciously motivated them to create a life that would allow them to continue to experience life in the same way. In this case, the end of their career could mean that for the first time in their life, they have been deprived of what has been part of their life for so long – adrenalin.


Naturally, if this is all they have ever known, it will be very hard for them to handle life now that it is not as readily available. This will be a time when they will need to learn how to feel alive without experiencing so much adrenalin.

For this to take place, their outer world needs to change as will their inner world. Now that the adrenaline has settled down, it may mean that they will have access to feelings and memories that had been pushed out of their awareness for a very long time, and this material could be very hard for them to deal with.


If one can relate to this, and they want to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.


Source by Oliver JR Cooper