For Dr Caroline Silby, an internationally recognised sports psychologist, the latest fallout over Tyson Fury’s wellbeing has only underlined the need for a seismic change in how boxing deals with the problem.
“These comments about Fury aren’t helpful,” she says. “For too long depression and mental health has been boxing’s dirty little secret.”
Having worked extensively with Olympians and boxers throughout her career, Silby is all too aware of the current perception of fighters; who often feel forced to internalise their problems until the issue reaches breaking point.
“It’s hard for people to believe that such successful athletes could feel depressed or anxious,” Silby explains. “We have this ingrained view of them as high-functioning professionals, but what is so often overlooked is that behind the mask, they are still developing and trying to figure out how to cope with the immense pressure that comes with being an elite athlete.”
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