Your profession can make a huge impact on whether you incur traumatic brain injuries or not. After motorcycle-related injuries, athletes are most likely to suffer from TBI. That’s even more true with those who play high-impact or high-collision sports.
However, there’s another side to it, a dark side. Whether players were happy to do it or not, that dark side is TBI.
Former pro hockey player and enforcer Rob Frid says this about the possible impact of hockey and TBI, “Traumatic Brain Injuries are the #1 reason for disability in Canada & the US.”
“Many of us former athletes who are suffering through the long-term effects of multiple concussions, which includes multiple TBI’s, in high-impact sports like myself from hockey also deal with chronic pain.”
Frid says there’s a lack of a support system from former teams and leagues he’s played in.
He says it “ultimately sends many former players down a very dark path without proper diagnosis and ultimately proper treatment.”
“We have constantly seen these struggles over the years hit the media with early death from suicide and or self-medicating leading to addiction and what I believe now…a fast track to degenerative brain disease.”
Frid says, “It’s leading to this Monster we call CTE – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.”
“Hockey and all high impact sports need a culture change…especially engaging in more education and creating support platforms for those of us who struggle today.”
If you choose to or are lucky enough to play professional hockey, football, rugby, and others, you’re at a significantly higher risk of all types of traumatic brain injury.
Players in those leagues are big, strong, and move at very high speeds. They play with a reckless abandon of their bodies and have little concern for their own safety and, often, others.
Most of them, if asked, would say they do it happily, and many who are retired would say they’d do it again in a heartbeat. You’ll hear them say they know or knew what they signed up for and consider themselves lucky.