Athletes and Mental Illness

Columbus Mental Health ServicesWhether they are running a kickoff return back for a touchdown or performing a flawless floor routine at the Olympics, athletes are under intense pressure to perform. Everyone knows that regular exercise, and even training for events like marathons, can be good for your body and your mental health. When that training schedule and the demands made on your mental and physical health reaches professional athlete levels, however, the negatives may outweigh the positives. If your loved one needs help with mental illness, call on Columbus mental health services that you can trust. Call us today.

Professional athletes like Olympians, football players, dancers and extreme sports athletes all share a common struggle with their mental health. For some athletes, it's an instance of burnout from over training for an event, but for others the costs of performing and training at a professional level overshadow the success they find on the field of play.

A study conducted in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that many athletes were depressed, engaging in risky behaviors like unprotected sex or heavy drinking, and suffering from a loss of personal autonomy. Without a chance to have their own personality and develop their own routine, many professional athletes find themselves battling chronic depression and mood disorders. Dealing with anxiety about aging out of their sport, being injured, or failing to perform, these athletes are at a greater risk for eating disorders and mental health breakdowns.

The emphasis placed on the mental health and well-being of professional athletes focuses on their performance rather than their actual care. Still heavily stigmatized, the mental health needs of these high performers have often been brushed aside. Physicians and clinicians who work in this environment are often pressured by trainers and coaches to compromise the well-being of these athletes to meet the demands from those around them. In one New York Times article, an industry insider shares that in a world where mental toughness is a prized attribute for success, asking for mental health help is seen as a weakness.

As a result of the stigma among coaches, owners, teammates, and rivals, many players stay silent. Then come the struggles with drugs, alcohol, sex, or eating disorders. For many top athletes, these behaviors lead to an arrest or involvement with the law in some way, drawing public attention to their performance off the field. In the sports world, this is often seen as the beginning of the end of a career. For many of these superstars, the truth behind their drinking, drug abuse, sexual escapades, or haggard appearance isn't known until they retire from their sport for good. The list of hall of famers, former Olympians and other professional athletes who have become mental health advocates since their retirement continues to grow. However, within the realm of active athletes, mental illness is still a taboo subject.

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Columbus Mental Health Services You Can Believe In

Legacy Freedom knows that talking about your mental health and your mental health needs can be difficult. For many people, the fear of being stigmatized by family or viewed as weak among peers because of their mental health struggles can keep them silent for years. Seeking Columbus mental health services for depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, or any other mental health concern does not make you weak. At Legacy, we take a holistic approach to your mental health care by putting you at the center of our treatment focus, not your mental illness. Together with our expert staff, you will learn to address the underlying causes of your depression, anxiety or other co-occurring conditions. Our alternative therapy options help you cope and confront these issues head on, getting you back in the game of life with clear and focused thoughts.

Call or click today to connect with Legacy Freedom of Columbus!


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