GAA players more susceptible to mental illness

GAA inter-county players are significantly susceptible to common mental disorders (CMD), an international study has revealed.

Findings from a representative sample of the sport’s elite footballers and hurlers showed a high incidence of CMD symptoms. A total of 48% of respondents were found to suffer from anxiety/depression, while 23% were deemed to be using alcohol adversely. Over 38% were discovered to have experienced distress and 33% sleep disturbance.

It was discovered the percentage of players with the alcohol symptoms was 4%-14% higher than among professional footballers.

Players who had suffered from one or more severe musculoskeletal injuries were two to nearly four times more likely to report CMD symptoms. Those footballers and hurlers who admitted a lack of satisfaction in their sport career were found to be almost six times more likely to report stress than those players who were satisfied.

With the assistance of the GPA, the study was conducted by a Dutch-based group of academics over a six-month period between the end of 2014 and the start of 2015.


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