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Talkback: Depression: a triathlete's experience

A great article and its fantastic to see people writing about their experiences and trying to crack the stigma on mental health issues.


  • David BDavid B Posts: 16
    Thank you for sharing your experience Tim, we need more people, esp men, talking about their depression. I have been living with depression for 16yrs, I also get rapid mood cycles to add to the fun. From speaking to others Iv found everyone's depression is individual and you have to learn the intricacies of yours to try and control it. I have returned to training this year after a long lay off and it is a huge help, but it's only part of the solution, friends/family, talking therapy, CBT, even medication can all help.
  • Yep. This is me. People assume endurance athletes are exempt from this. More often than not this is a coping strategy. It's so difficult to understand anxiety and depression unless you have experienced it first hand.
  • I guess I'm lucky - my depression is on the mild end of the scale. I do have my down days and I have my coping strategies, but having taken to triathlon 2 years ago I have fewer mood "crashes" and each tri I complete, each training goal I reach gives me a little boost.  

    Triathlon has made me a happier, healthier person and I'm grateful for it but like most people in my position I'm not ready to publically share the fact I have depression, especially in a work situation.

  • Thank you for being brace enough to share your experience. As you know, you are NOT alone, and I'm sure this article will help others struggling with depression. I hope it will also help destroy the myth that going for a run will somehow cure depression. Thank you. xxx
  • Thank you so much for sharing; I recognise my own experience in so much of what you write, particularly the dilemma of needing to name depression to begin to overcome it, yet knowing that naming it somehow increases its power...

    So good to read someone who acknowledges that sport - and specifically triathlon - is a mixed blessing. I am so weary of the macho men and women saying things like "Just get out out on your bike; all your troubles will blow away!" If only...
  • Thank you for this article, and for the comments about it above. I've had depression & anxiety for years and am still battling away. I don't find it easy to get out to train (because of the social anxiety) and this, plus my horribly inconsistent motivation levels, just deepen the guilt and shame of being, well, like this!

    I've just achieved a successful 140.6 result, despite the depression-interrupted training plan, and have a half-ironman and many age-group successes behind me, but it all feels worthless and empty. Would love to say that exercise blows all my troubles away, but it seems to be so difficult at the moment, I'm in a vicious circle right now and I question why I'm even in tri! And have been open about my 'stuff' in recent months (brief mentions of it, not going on & on about it!) only to find that people seem scared of it and stay away from me - there could be other reasons for that, of course! I work in mental health too and still see stigma all too frequently, not just with service users but amongst staff too.

    Don't know if it's allowed to mention this here, but I do have a blog on tri and mental health - I hope it's of help/consolation to at least one other person...www.trihitrilow.com

    All the best and thanks again for raising this issue.
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