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  • Writer's pictureDr Victor Thompson

Sport, fame, money and pressure a cocktail for mental illness

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Sport pressure mental health problems athletes image

I thought that I’d share this article with you, which highlights psychological distress, common psychological problems or mental health issues in athletes in New Zealand and Australia. It does a great job of describing the problem, the reasons behind them and details on where Kiwi athletes can get help.

Mental health problems can develop in anyone – athlete or non-athlete. Sport provides us with a lot that is good. It also can provide significant challenges, stresses, pressure and tough environments to navigate.

The article mentions a 2014 survey of 224 elite Australian athletes, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine of Sport. This survey found 46.4% of the elite athletes were experiencing symptoms of at least one mental health problem. These included:

  • 27.2% with depression

  • 22.8% with eating disorders

  • 16.5% with general psychological distress

  • 14.7% with social anxiety

  • 7.1% with anxiety

  • 4.5% panic disorder

Athletes who were currently injured, (unsurprisingly) experienced higher levels of depression and anxiety.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling psychologically to manage things, then do get in touch to find out how I can help. I have training in Clinical Psychology and over 20-years of experience of working with these types of common mental health problems in athletes and non-athletes. If you want to find out more about these types of issues in sport, then you can read about these on my problems helped page. Go on, get some help today and start to feel better.

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