What are the Common Mental Health Issues in Athletes

People generally perceive athletes as omnipotent beings that have an amazing will, out-of-this-world strength, and can do things many of us can mostly dream of achieving. And although it’s nice to know that someone thinks highly of you, it can often be burdensome.

When somebody has high expectations, that can put a lot of pressure on any individual. Society frequently forgets that athletes are humans too, who also deal with numerous struggles and issues.

Unfortunately, they often obtain some serious injuries that can gravely affect both their physical and mental health. Today, we are going to discuss these mental health issues these people often struggle with and we honestly hope it will give you a better insight into this subject.

What Are They Usually Facing?

Mood Disorders

Having a casual mood swing is something that occasionally strikes most of us. On the other hand, the serious and constant mood disorder is something completely different. Unfortunately, many athletes are dealing with it oftentimes. 

Many factors can impact and trigger this issue, such as caffeine, lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, etc. These things can lead to many more dangerous problems, like depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and many others. 

That’s why a person who is struggling with continuous mood swings, should immediately seek help to find a solution to this problem. If he or she doesn’t it may prolong and worsen his/her unstable mental state.

Substance Abuse

As we mentioned at the beginning, athletes are constantly feeling pressured to achieve great things during competitions or any other sport-related event. At first, they think they will be able to cope with it, but once they discover they can’t, they turn to drugs

Namely, many of them perceive it as a temporary solution and something they will easily give up on, however, addiction is a dangerous thing that seemingly may appear as their friend but is nothing more than a devil in disguise. 

If you know someone who is currently having these issues, advise them to either seek professional help or to start practicing useful things like yoga or meditation. Both of these options will ease their mind and help them work through stressful situations and emotions.

Eating Disorders

Being a professional athlete is a great way to boost your self-esteem, achieve spectacular goals, and promote general health. On the other hand, it is also a huge responsibility to always maintain a fit body and good looks.

There’s always the pressure to be the best which can seriously affect someone’s body, as well as mind. Usually, that’s the moment an eating disorder arrives. In order to overcome this, solid mental health plans must be developed. Starting from having great support, talking to their coaches to see how they can contribute to eliminating this, and of course counseling. 

Unfortunately, it’s not rare to see coaches who are focusing primarily on the success of these people and neglect other aspects of their personalities. That’s why they should be one of the people you need to discuss with as soon as you notice some negative food-related changes. 

Sleep Disorders

Insomnia or any other sleep issue is usually closely related to mental problems and it is also one of the things that hit athletes. Lack of a goodnight’s sleep can affect anyone, especially people who must have a perfect focus, as well as the energy during their training sessions.

If they miss small amounts of it, it’s not going to do any serious harm, however, if it continues to happen and turns into a habit, it may negatively impact their performance in many ways. If you are an athlete and you notice that losing sleep has started to affect your athletic capability, find a way to resolve it.

You can either dig dip to find the cause behind this situation, talk to someone, and even maybe purchase a medication that is going to help you enhance the situation by providing you with some rest.

Suicidal Thoughts

One of the main causes of death in college athletes is precisely this – suicide. As we previously mentioned, they are constantly under pressure to succeed and that is especially present in their late teenage years or early twenties.

All of this leads to spiraling down, depression, and at the end of it all, suicidal thoughts. A lot of suicides occurred because the mental states of these people were diagnosed on time. Therefore, it’s of great relevance to monitor their behavior and act as soon as you start noticing anything. 

What Can Be Done?

Talk, talk, talk. We cannot stress this enough. It doesn’t matter whether you are an athlete or know someone who is, do not ever be afraid to talk to someone close to you in case something is bothering you. As you can see, there are numerous mental issues that can affect these people, so do everything you can to prevent them.