The death of Junior Seau might be the ultimate consequence of brain concussions received while playing in the NFL, but there are other significant factors to consider as well. Without speculating which factors, if any, played a part in Seau’s death, they are relevant to the mental health of all athletes, even amateur ones (even everyone).
It is almost universal that we think our roles in life are a lion’s share of our identity. Who am I? I am a writer, a mother, businessman, gardener, or professional athlete. Although many people suspect identity is much like the clothing we wear, and not the essence of humanity, we feel uncomfortable walking around unclothed.
Any time we let go of, or are forced to let go of, a familiar outfit, an identity transition occurs. We may miss the old uniform, though even if we don’t, it is hard to know what else to put on. This transition sometimes goes smoothly but can also become a rough sea, or a perfect storm.
The Trouble with Transparency
Most of us tremble at the thought of complete transparency, people knowing our uncensored thoughts and fickle feelings. Though some folks are more transparent than others, all of us remain a mystery to some degree.
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