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Home: All Other Football Interests: All other football:
A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke

 



Diamond Matt
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Nov 9, 2012, 12:32 AM

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A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke Can't Post or Reply Privately

Hi all,

As we approach three years since Robert Enke took his own life, please read a piece I've written about Enke's depression and the loneliness of a goalkeeper.

http://mattword21.blogspot.co.uk/...-of-robert-enke.html

Comments would be appreciated.

Cheers


UKPunk
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Nov 9, 2012, 12:48 PM

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Re: [Diamond Matt] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

As someone with a family member who attempted suicide due to depression I've seen how easily the signs can be missed. It's a silent killer. Fortunately she survived and is in the process of learning to cope with her depressive phases when they strike (her words).

Maybe the worst aspect of depression is that no words or actions which the outsider can offer seem to be of any help to the sufferer. It's a battle they have to fight largely on their own and one can only let that person know they are there for them if they want to talk.

It can't help footballers, particularly goalkeepers, who suffer from depression that there is still this culture of machoism that prevents them speaking out for fear of being branded weak. As much as I love the game I am sometimes disgusted by some of the attitudes that are still so prevalent in the sport.



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cope1
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Nov 9, 2012, 1:10 PM

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Re: [UKPunk] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I have been taking anti-depressants for about 12 years now (having made 3, fairly weak, attempts on my own life prior to that) and I find an astonishing number of people I know do also. What strikes me is that they are often life's 'do-ers', the ones who get out and achieve things, organise things, make things happen. I do find that a lot of people don't understand it though.

Not understanding can range from simply looking at you blankly if you try to explain it to those who suggest people suffering with depression should 'man up'. The former I can understand, although it frustrating. I was very good friends with a girl I worked with for a while but it fell down when I tried to explain depression to her. I felt that ultimately she considered it an excuse. The latter is downright ignorant. Another friend of mine - who is a lovely guy but has a tendency to be quite insensitive and has not a drop of empathy in his body - made the 'man up' comment about a friend of ours.

Perhaps the most persistent, and therefore tiresome, misunderstanding is that people who take pills are dodging the issue. I don't get depressed because I'm upset about something or stressed - although that may contribute to it. I get depressed because of a chemical imbalance within my body. People often suggest that I should 'see someone' about whatever is 'bothering me' rather than becoming 'dependent on drugs'. This misses the point entirely. It's like telling an asthma sufferer to get more exercise.

EDIT: I meant to say - purely in the interests of sharing experiences, which I have found quite helpful when others have done so - my experience of depression rarely about wanting to kill myself or in anyway being hugely unhappy. It's more a case of emotional numbness where the whole world appears grey and nothing seems worth doing. Any emotion - good or bad - is blessed relief from that. It's a very surreal experience - like watching your life on television as a disinterested viewer. I can see good things and bad things happen but I only class them as such because I 'know' that's what they are. I don't actually feel any of it at all. Only half joking but the scariest bit is when I don't even feel moved to put together a spreadsheet for analysing FA Cup results from the 1920s!


(This post was edited by cope1 on Nov 9, 2012, 1:22 PM)


jon b
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Nov 9, 2012, 1:59 PM

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Re: [cope1] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

There are several people I know who have been taking anti-depressants long term and who function very well in responsible jobs. One, who retired recently, was a Head Teacher who, if I hadn't known was on medication, I'd never have guessed was having to take them.

I used to play in a weekly basketball game. One of the other players committed suicide and I'd always thought him a very happy go lucky character. Turned out he'd been battling depression for years.

I think attitudes to mental health problems are far better than they used to be. Until the mid 1990s there was a large psychiatric hospital locally which was known to one and all as the "loony-bin". A label that was not a great help to anyone admitted there. It left a stigma that hung round them long after they had been discharged.

Hopefully, as with physical disabilities we're moving into more enlightened times.

Just as well really, given that, unlike winning the lottery, the chances with mental health illness are that sooner or later it really could be you.


Mishi
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Nov 10, 2012, 11:45 PM

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Re: [jon b] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

By complete coincidence I'm reading the book on Enke at the moment.

On the subject of mental illness, I've know severabl people who have had various illnesses. fortunately only one of them, has so far not managed to overcome his demons, & he took his own life. It was only seven months into my sobriety (I'm now over ten years sober) & it was a very tough time for me in keeping off the drink. He was a top bloke, who just happened to be mad.



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Isaac
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Nov 13, 2012, 4:35 PM

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As someone with a family member who attempted suicide due to depression I've seen how easily the signs can be missed. It's a silent killer. Fortunately she survived and is in the process of learning to cope with her depressive phases when they strike (her words).

Maybe the worst aspect of depression is that no words or actions which the outsider can offer seem to be of any help to the sufferer. It's a battle they have to fight largely on their own and one can only let that person know they are there for them if they want to talk.

It can't help footballers, particularly goalkeepers, who suffer from depression that there is still this culture of machoism that prevents them speaking out for fear of being branded weak. As much as I love the game I am sometimes disgusted by some of the attitudes that are still so prevalent in the sport.



Such attitudes are common in many walks of life, people do tend to mock what they don't understand and I'm ashamed to admit I was once the same, somebody where I used to work was off long term sick with depression and the common feeling was that they were putting it on.

My daughter suffered serious post natal depression a few years ago and I'm afraid that I was little help to her, I dismissed it as a 'womens thing'.

One of my neighbours told me a shocking story about their daughters former boyfriend some years previously, they appeared to be a happy couple and had even booked a holiday abroad and talked of marriage when suddenly without any warning at all he commited suicide, they later found out that he had been battling depression for years but nobody knew.

A relative of mine is a British Transport police officer and the suicide rate, on railways alone, really is shocking. Obviously it is one here and one there and so doesn't really make headline news but the mainline out of Paddington apparently has the highest rate in the UK.

The anniversary of Gary Speed passing is fast approaching and you would hope high profile cases like this and Robert Enke might help spread some light onto a condition which very few people seem to understand.


cope1
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Nov 13, 2012, 8:21 PM

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Re: [Isaac] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Your attitude is all too common but it's brave of you to admit it.

I've only had time off work for one period of two weeks about three years ago. Thankfully I'd worked my arse off and done anything and everything needed to get stuff done for whoever needed prior to that which meant people's attitude - as far as I could tell - was that I wouldn't put something like that on.


Isaac
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Nov 13, 2012, 8:46 PM

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Re: [cope1] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I think its brave of you to speak about what you've been through, some years ago I had a drink problem but I could never speak openly about it. Maybe I was suffering from some sort of depression then? I didn't drink because I enjoyed it I just needed alcohol to get through the day. I still have a few pints from time to time but generally avoid spirits nowadays.

I heard Stan Collymore talking quite openly about his battles with depression, quite an eye opener.


(This post was edited by Isaac on Nov 13, 2012, 8:53 PM)


cope1
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I think its brave of you to speak about what you've been through, some years ago I had a drink problem but I could never speak openly about it. Maybe I was suffering from some sort of depression then? I didn't drink because I enjoyed it I just needed alcohol to get through the day. I still have a few pints from time to time but generally avoid spirits nowadays.

I heard Stan Collymore talking quite openly about his battles with depression, quite an eye opener.

Alcohol has certainly played its role for me and I've been in that place where drink even though I hate it. It's always with hindsight that I realise the times I drink are when I'm sliding quickly into a deep trough of depression. Of course I do it to escape but what it actually does is speed up the slide. Thankfully I have always managed to pull myself round in time so far although there are times when it's frightening how close I think I've come to just throwing everything away.

Alcoholism is something I've seen a fair amount of through generations of my extended family. It's difficult to cope with in other people but in a way it also allows me to see that they are really good, kind people who are usually stressed or unhappy. One thing that speeds the process up is the lack of understanding around those people who therefore need to escape even more. It's always struck me as ironic that in many situations you become an outcast for acknowledging and dealing with a drink problem but if you just say you don't have one then you're fine.


Mishi
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Nov 14, 2012, 12:50 PM

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Re: [cope1] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

With the benefit of hindsight, I gained far more respect from my family & friends, for my sobriety, than I ever did when I was drinking. I didn't realise what an awful person I must have been. Not that I'm suggesting I'm anything like perfect now! ;-)



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cope1
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With the benefit of hindsight, I gained far more respect from my family & friends, for my sobriety, than I ever did when I was drinking. I didn't realise what an awful person I must have been. Not that I'm suggesting I'm anything like perfect now! ;-)


You certainly have my respect Mishi. It's one thing not to fall into the trap in the first place but it takes a lot of guts and determination to get out again once you have.


PonteCarlo
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Nov 15, 2012, 2:31 PM

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Re: [cope1] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I think most people in life have suffered from depression of one form or another - whether it be from losing a family member or getting to a ground to find the last programme has been sold Wink.

I suffered terribly from it over the last year, after the break up of my last relationship, which resulted in me making an (obviously) failed attempt myself. I found there are a lot more people with less sympathy than you might think, i.e the 'man-uppers' who just think your being a wuss and should 'get over yourself'. If it were that easy, I'm sure people would! Unfortunately it takes a lot more time than some people have patience for and as far as I know there's no known 'cure' as such, more ways to distract the mind - but with some people it will always be there, even if just in the back of your head.



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MistaFozzII
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Nov 28, 2012, 3:01 PM

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Re: [PonteCarlo] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I would like to say I admire you guys who have spoke about your battles openly here, much respect for talking about it in the most public of places, I myself have suffered some form of depression now since childhood, since I was about 9/10 years old, pretty much through the expectation laid on me at such a young age, I was put through private education from that age, I did not want it and did not need it, I never saw any benefit from it, and always thought it was about the snobbery of the family member paying for it, and I never dared to question that person till they died 10 years ago.

Im 30 now, in my life I have been in care, was diagnosed with Bi-Polar and Borderline Personality Disorder, I was a borderline alcoholic at 15 and made many attempts on my own life, coming within half an hour of death in 1998, and all the time I was made out to be the bad guy by certain members of my family who didn't, couldn't and wouldn't be prepared to accept they were at fault(at least partly) and I was essentially a victim.

To this day, I suffer from depression, I dont take or need any meds, but everyday is a fight for me, I now find myself addicted to over the counter meds which has landed me in the hospital before, I have been so high off meds before that I forcibly stayed awake for 3 days in case I died in my sleep, and when I wake every day, I thank the Lord I have been given the chance to see one more day knowing that tomorrow I may not wake up as an effect of my habits and addictions.

I was particularly upset and grief stricken last year when Gary Speed took his own life and some people openly mocked me for hero worshipping what they thought was a coward, someone who was spiteful by taking there own life like that, that may be so, but some people just dont understand being so deep in shit that there seems to be no way out, that being so deep in it that you dont have or cant summon the strong to pull your way out, I suppose it was the same with Robert Enke as well.

People said to me after Gary Speed 'Why did he need to do it, he had it all, good job, lots of money etc', what a load of shite, the world does not work like that, all the money in the world wont make a depressed person happy, some of the people I look up are or have been hit with depression or mental health problems at some point, obviously Gary Speed and my very first footballing hero, Gazza, I dont particularly think a great deal of Stan Collymore, but admire him for talking about his problems and how it must be hard for him to deal with...One person that does interest me, although I dont know a great deal about it is the tragic story of Justin Fashanu, having to deal with probably the biggest 'taboo' in football, being a homosexual.

Over the years I have found football to be a good way if getting away from my problems for a bit, when I am at football or watching it, I have no problems and just care about what is going on in front of me for at least 90 minutes.



Mista Fozz

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London Harrier
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Re: [MistaFozzII] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

As someone who has had more than their fair share of mental health issues, I found this post fascinating. Iíve always thought football offered escapism, not just in these scenarios but for anyone who is having troubles in their life.

Very interesting stuff. I applaud your candid nature on the subject.


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Re: [cope1] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I sometimes wish I had the will power to quit drinking. It does me no favours at all, and can be a particular danger for people who have addictive or unstable personalities. The problem I find is so much of English culture is linked to drinking: weddings, stag parties, birthdays, in fact just about any major celebration. Itís hard to not drink when everyone around you is drinking, if only because it soon becomes impossible to converse with someone who is drunk.


Isaac
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I sometimes wish I had the will power to quit drinking. It does me no favours at all, and can be a particular danger for people who have addictive or unstable personalities. The problem I find is so much of English culture is linked to drinking: weddings, stag parties, birthdays, in fact just about any major celebration. Itís hard to not drink when everyone around you is drinking, if only because it soon becomes impossible to converse with someone who is drunk.




I know exactly what you mean, unfortunatly I cannot offer any magic solution but I felt much better after I seriously cut down on my alcohol intake.

In fact when attending weddings and such like I would make a point of taking the car so I wouldn't be tempted, I've done some stupid things when under the influence but never in a million years would I drink and drive.


MistaFozzII
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Dec 4, 2012, 6:48 PM

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Re: [London Harrier] A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I am not a drinker myself, I have my own addictions though that I am .fighting right now that I need to give, my addictions are medicinal, nothing illegal, just stuff that I can buy over a counter...I have just had it rammed home to me today just what damage I am doing to myself, I am struggling and worry I will never fully sort it out.

I swear to god, the stuff you can become legally addicted is much worse than the illegal stuff



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