The concussions received by hockey players might be doing more than damaging their memories. According to a psychiatrist, the concussions are also linked with depression and perhaps subsequent suicides the sport has recently witnessed: Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak.

Shree Bhalerao of Toronto said 30 percent of his concussion patients show signs of depression, such as impaired sleep, being withdrawn, anxiety and unfounded fears, according to The Globe and Mail.

“They don’t want to return to the ice,” he said. “They have a feeling of panic … the elements of an acute stress disorder.”

However, Bhalerao said, the feelings of depression that could come from a concussion are not always talked about by the hockey players because there is a stigma attached to seeming weak in such a tough sport:

“Players in a macho game don’t want to be seen as ‘damaged goods’ in the lineup, he said.”


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Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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