Originally Posted by ollinger
The research on athlete suicide suggests it's not the loss of athletic ability, aderenaline high, or loss of attention/glory that impacts them. The risk factors that increase suicide generally among men -- divorce, alcohol abuse, lack of employment, chronic pain -- are all very prevalent among retired NFL players, who have a suicide rate six times that of the general population.
I have to wonder if there's a certain personality type that does well in professional sports that also increases risk of depression. One of the things Marcellus Wiley (ex-teammate and friend of Seau) said earlier today is that Seau never wanted people to see him at anything less than his best. He preferred to be treated by private physicians, not team doctors, so his injuries weren't common knowledge, that sort of thing. That preference for privacy and tendency to 'put on a brave face' would seem to lend itself to being depressed without seeking help, or considering suicide without talking to anyone about it.
Seau always seemed like a decent guy, and I'm sorry this is what he saw as the only way out.