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Pros and Mental Illness

Old 02-27-05, 08:57 PM
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CAAD5AL
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Pros and Mental Illness

This might be a weird post, but I've long wondered why there seems to be so many suicides, overdoses, etc among top-level cyclists, especially among the climbers. I don't have any stats, but it seems like it's got to be more than in other sports, and than the general population.

I have two theories. It takes kind of a special breed to push oneself that hard, so maybe the sport draws in people who are already a little addictive and emotionally volatile to begin with, so it's already a prone population.

The second is that maybe there's some detrimental affect of spending that much time at the lower limits of oxygen levels, and it leads to depression or something?

What gives?
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Old 02-27-05, 09:07 PM
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I think there's some validity to your first theory. Plus, I think racers get used to the action and endorphins of racing, and have a hard time coping with the absence of them when they retire. However, I'm not a doctor, I only play one on TV.
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Old 02-27-05, 09:36 PM
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Maybe it's the doping.
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Old 02-27-05, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by HigherGround
However, I'm not a doctor, I only play one on TV.
I knew it...you're Chad Everett right?

Bicycling had an interesting article on Marco Pantani in the December issue and there was a side column about this very subject. Page 57. Spotlights on 8 climbers throughout history that met with unfortunate ends.

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Old 02-27-05, 10:16 PM
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Who was it that cycled himself to death in the Alps durring the TDF? I recall something about cardiac arrest, injuries, and a memorial on one of those peaks for him...

Man, that takes guts to suicide via bicycle.
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Old 02-27-05, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lufty
Who was it that cycled himself to death in the Alps durring the TDF? I recall something about cardiac arrest, injuries, and a memorial on one of those peaks for him...

Man, that takes guts to suicide via bicycle.
I believe that was Tom Simpson. I highly doubt it was intentional.
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Old 02-27-05, 10:48 PM
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IIRC, drugs were implicated in that one . . .
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Old 02-27-05, 10:49 PM
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No he's Joey Tribiani.




Originally Posted by 55/Rad
I knew it...you're Chad Everett right?

Bicycling had an interesting article on Marco Pantani in the December issue and there was a side column about this very subject. Page 57. Spotlights on 8 climbers throughout history that met with unfortunate ends.

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Old 02-27-05, 10:52 PM
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Constant long-term doping.
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Old 02-27-05, 10:52 PM
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Can you show how blood doping leads to Suicide and self-destructive behavior please************************************************************************************************************************????





Originally Posted by ed073
Constant long-term doping.
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Old 02-27-05, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Lufty
Who was it that cycled himself to death in the Alps durring the TDF? I recall something about cardiac arrest, injuries, and a memorial on one of those peaks for him...

Man, that takes guts to suicide via bicycle.

You can't drive your self to cardiac arrest unless you have a heart problem.
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Old 02-27-05, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ultra-g
Can you show how blood doping leads to Suicide and self-destructive behavior please************************************************************************************************************************????

not just blood doping, other agents over lengthy periods

Jose Maria Jiminez
Marco Pantani
Thierry Claveyrolat
Frank Vandebroucke


And many others not so fanous.
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Old 02-28-05, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ultra-g
Can you show how blood doping leads to Suicide and self-destructive behavior please************************************************************************************************************************????
Hormones, my boy. Of course, this is mere speculation. We all know pro-cyclists don't dope, right?
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Old 02-28-05, 12:12 AM
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steroids?
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Old 02-28-05, 12:16 AM
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I wonder about EPO, who knows. I'm not buying steroids, though, because it would show up in so many other sports, wouldn't it?
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Old 02-28-05, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ed073
not just blood doping, other agents over lengthy periods

Jose Maria Jiminez
Marco Pantani
Thierry Claveyrolat
Frank Vandebroucke


And many others not so fanous.
Competitive athletes will do whatever it takes to win. Sometimes sensibility is not part of the equation.
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Old 02-28-05, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ultra-g
Can you show how blood doping leads to Suicide and self-destructive behavior please************************************************************************************************************************????
just as there is 'steroid rage' there is doping rage. if you combine an addictive behavior with an addictive personality you've got a recipe for disaster. I personally believe that when you throw the delicate balance that is our chemistry dangerously out of whack it leads to unhealthy responses by the body.
One could argue that pantini traded one destructive behavior (epo, etc) for another (cocaine) >> the world is full of vices, and lord knows we pick them up easily.

some people see themselves in the moment and can never visualize themselves as a grandfather or in retirement. they want it all now and that chemical imbalance causes them to crave destruction.

is it an epidemic? no.

why is suicide very high amongst dentists?

<<<drug use and alcolism and gambling and every other addiction you can think of happens amongst other sports figures as well. some can be disguised better. many have a secret deathwish>>>

as do people who aren't in the limelight.
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Old 02-28-05, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RiPHRaPH
why is suicide very high amongst dentists?
I don't know, but my dentist is always looking down in the mouth.






Sorry.
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Old 02-28-05, 09:34 AM
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They are probably wacko to begin with.
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Old 02-28-05, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ed073
not just blood doping, other agents over lengthy periods...
Thierry Claveyrolat
Thierry committed suicide because his business was failing and he was facing a stretch in the slammer for vehicular manslaughter. He owned a bar, and probably drank, but I never heard that alcoholism was on the radar screen.


Frank Vandebroucke
Frank hasn't committed suicide, yet, or are you talking about career suicide?
 
Old 02-28-05, 09:55 AM
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Real Sports did a piece on ex-pro NFL players and the high rate of suicides amongst them. At first I though well I'd bet that suicide and mental problems are high in most ex-pro athletes but you don't hear about this problem in tennis. Here is sport where your best years are in you teens and early twenties. You would think that if it were just the lack of the "rush" it would really show in tennis players, after all you are pretty much finished by age 25 (yes I know there are exceptions but it's not the rule). I find it curious that in both the NFL and pro cycling, two sports were performance enhancing drugs are prevelent, you find these problems.
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Old 02-28-05, 10:00 AM
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i buy the argument that the type of personailty that can withstand (and enjoy) that kind of physical punishment is more prone toward depression.

a lot of these riders also leave themselves with nothing to fall back on. So, there is enormous pressure to make something of yourself within a relatively short racing career. Put in the countless hours of training, dieting, etc... and something is likely to snap.
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Old 02-28-05, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CAAD5AL
This might be a weird post, but I've long wondered why there seems to be so many suicides, overdoses, etc among top-level cyclists, especially among the climbers. I don't have any stats, but it seems like it's got to be more than in other sports, and than the general population.

What gives?
I'd be interested to see data on this...

I doubt the percentages are that different from the general population with respect to suicide (it might be possible that there are more "unexplained" heart attacks in cycling due to doping but it also might be that we're just more aware of this because we follow cycling...

Cycling: Pantini overdoses.
Real world: junkies do it every day.

Cycling: Neo pros have heart attacks (likely due to EPO or some other agent that makes the blood thicker)
Real world: congenital heart problems kill amateur athletes (e.g., football and basketball players who die unexpectedly on the court)

Cycling: Not sure if I'm aware of any straight out suicides.
Real world: All to frequent and sad reality.
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Old 02-28-05, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by CAAD5AL
The second is that maybe there's some detrimental affect of spending that much time at the lower limits of oxygen levels, and it leads to depression or something?

What gives?
I think there is a detrimental affect on spending so much time alone on a bicycle that leads to depression. I can't tell you how many times I see other cyclists on the road talking to themselves. Combine this with drugs and the outcome is not always positive.
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Old 02-28-05, 11:30 AM
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Talking to themselves? Damn I'm glad I got out of Jersey....
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