The Burden of Sports: How and Why Athletes Struggle with Mental Health

Rowman & Littlefield. Feb. 2024. 296p. ISBN 9781538175538. $38. PSYCH
Lawyer/legal editor/mental health specialist Parry (The Athlete’s Dilemma: Sacrificing Health for Wealth and Fame) presents an in-depth study of the mental health and emotional well-being of professional athletes, particularly those who are stigmatized in the sports industry and in society for seeking professional help or taking a break to improve their mental health. This book shows that some athletes—especially the more famous ones—who seek help from a psychiatrist or counselor often find themselves barraged with criticism and outright nasty or hurtful comments from people on social media and in the press. Parry’s book is ripe with current scholarship, including personal statements from dozens of well-known athletes and potential solutions to many related social issues. Of particular interest is a distinctive and memorable chapter about “evolving COVID risks.”
VERDICT It would be hard to find a current work in this area more thorough and complete than Parry’s. Timely and important, this title has the potential to change the sports industry worldwide. Highly recommended for libraries that have a sports emphasis.
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