Athletes are under pressure to perform and must deal with immense scrutiny and judgment for every decision they make. It makes athletes a group that is particularly at risk of developing mental health issues and, sadly, even more likely to go untreated. The following are seven key reasons athletes should care about their mental health.
Depression is characterized by loss of pleasure, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of death, and other symptoms. Depression is a mental illness affecting the world and is thought to cause suicide among young men and women. It is also a cause of lost productivity and lower quality of life.
The mental health consequences of depression are far-reaching and affect those who suffer from it, their family, friends, and co-workers.
2. Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are characterized by ongoing and excessive fear, worry, or dread. Athletes with anxiety might feel they are constantly worried, overthinking things, and unable to relax.
These disorders cause physical symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, disturbed sleep, heart palpitations, other breathing problems, muscle tension, and sweaty palms. It is also crucial to note that many athletes will undergo a phase of anxiety, but the problem continues long after the athlete has finished competing.
Stress can be defined as a response to a demand perceived as threatening or challenging. Stress comes in many forms, including emotional or psychological, physical or environmental, and social or interpersonal stress.
Athletes risk suffering from psychological stress due to their sports involvement. The pressure to deliver, win and perform is extreme and can make a top athlete feel helpless and out of control.
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4. Not Being Recognized
Athletes in the spotlight of their sport usually receive a lot of praise, attention, and positive feedback. It can be a tremendous boost for an athlete; however, it also comes with added pressure. High expectations and high expectations for performance can make it difficult to be satisfied and happy with what one has achieved.
If an athlete suffers from high expectations, personality traits prone to depression, anxiety, or stress may be heightened because they cannot live up to their self-image.
Fear is a natural response to danger. It can cause athletes to feel panicky, anxious, and stressed. Fear can be tied directly to the stress that comes with high expectations, pressure from fans and family members, or even criticism from coaches. It can also be a direct result of non-competitive stress.
Many athletes are so focused on the outcome of their performance that they begin to lose sight of their overall athletic journey and the good times they have had along the way.
6. Loss of Connection
Most athletes have strong family ties, but the intense nature of their sport separates them from their families for much of the year. As a result, many athletes experience increased feelings of loneliness and loss of connection with their families.
Many young athletes also struggle to fit in at school as their absenteeism from school and interruption from training can make them feel different from their classmates. It is also common for athletes to lose touch with their friends before sports and to lose touch with friends made through sports once they leave the mark.
Bullying is defined as abusing or being cruel to someone, usually because of their membership in a social group. It can also be out of jealousy, prejudice, and other reasons.
Many assume athletes are immune from bullying due to their status as role models. Bullying can occur much more often than in the general population, and athletes are especially vulnerable.
For athletes to improve performance, they need to feel supported and cared for both on and off the court. If an athlete is not part of a team, there needs to be a support system in the family and friends. If an athlete is involved with a club, high school, or college sport, then their coaches should encourage them to seek help if they need it.
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