It's not just football that doesn't understand, it applies across the board. It's an excellent article and one has to feel some sympathy for him but I wonder how many people read that and actually transfer the sympathetic feelings to people they may know in everyday life?
He makes the point that it can happen to anyone, not just the rich and famous, but support and patience in the community for such people tends to be limited. To befriend, support and help someone is time consuming and involves commitment and often a lot of frustration and disappointment.
People are becoming more aware and expressing emotions more publicly but there is still a widespread feeling that sufferers 'should pull themselves together and look around and see there are more unfortunate people'. In a workplace setting to admit to depression and anxiety is often interpreted as weakness and there is a great deal of truth in the saying that someone doesn't suffer from that alone - the family/friends /colleagues also suffer from it.
The reality is that it does inhibit other people's social interaction and the general atmosphere of a group.
If one cares it does leave you with the ongoing dilemma of living your own life, the social group's life and yet being supportive because there will be conflict. Quite a balancing act.