Depression and Anxiety in relation to Sports Psychology
Athletes are susceptible to developing mental problems just like any other type of person. It’s possible that athletes have a higher incidence of mental health issues like depression and anxiety than the overall population does. According to the statistics, high levels of anxiety are experienced by anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of young adults who participate in sports. Sometimes, individuals struggling with mental problems can benefit from participating in sports, however the strain involved with active and competitive sports can also produce anxiety and despair in participants. The dynamics of competitive sports are constantly shifting, which adds additional pressure to the athlete as a result of all of the various factors that are external to the activity.
The following are the three key risk factors that are unique to athletes:
• The dread of falling short. This happens when an athlete, typically a top athlete, begins to have the perception that they are not good enough in the eyes of other people. These individuals may be members of the individual’s personal family, such as their parents or siblings, or they may be other people, such as coaches, fans, teammates, or general populations. An athlete may have feelings of anxiety and depression as a direct result of the high expectations of these people, which may lead to a reduction in their overall performance.
• Perfectionism. The activities involved in sports are constantly on show for other people to see and, quite frequently, criticize. Every athlete should strive to always perform the appropriate actions and come out on top of every competition. The importance of this cannot be overstated for top athletes who are working to keep their rank. This, however, is not always realistic because humans are fallible and it may frequently lead to pressures that can result in a person feeling as though they are worthless if they make any mistakes. If the worrying and the sense of failure continue for an extended period of time, it can eventually develop to anxiety and melancholy.
• Injuries. Most competitive sports, like soccer and basketball, rely on an athlete’s physical ability to perform. The athlete may experience a sense of hopelessness as a result of injuries brought on by excessive training. The rehabilitation process can be long and difficult, making one doubt whether they will ever compete again. Even after successful rehabilitation, the fear of re-injury can always cause elevated stress levels that can lead to depression.
On the other, there is evidence that links sports and physical activities to improved mental health. One way to improve our mental well-being is through participating in physical activities. Sports and other forms of physical activity boost self-esteem while also reducing levels of tension and anxiety. In addition to taking medicine, patients suffering from depression and anxiety may also benefit from participating in physical activity. Individuals who participated in a wide variety of sports showed a drop in depression that ranged between 20 and 30 percent, as indicated by the statistics. Outdoor exercise through sports improves cognitive performance and promotes the feeling of inclusion in children and adults. However, there is still a stigma associated with those who are living with mental disorders, and this stigma is frequently a barrier to participation in athletics.