Mental health is just as important to look after as physical health. Athletes particularly can feel a lot of pressure in training, competition and in everyday life. Making sure athletes are mentally healthy is just as important as making sure they are physically fit. Coaches, family, friends and training partners can all help to look after each other and help people deal with issues they may be having. We look at illnesses such as depression and how to identify symptoms and aid recovery.
Anorexia Nervosa, or simply anorexia, is a mental illness and an eating disorder that has a damaging effect on the body. This illness affects how people view themselves and leads to issues with food intake and weight. People who suffer from anorexia lose an unhealthy amount of weight which affects their daily life, training, and social relationships.
A certain degree of fatigue is normal in an athlete training hard for their sport or event. However, excessive and persistent fatigue and feelings of lethargy with a reduced sporting performance, often indicate a more serious problem. Overtraining, illness and diet may be some of the possible causes of chronic fatigue, but each person needs to be assessed in terms of their individual circumstances.
Depression is an illness which results in feelings of extreme sadness that interfere with your daily life. Often the terms clinical depression and depressive illness are also used to describe depression. This mental illness can be brought on by a specific event or events, but can also be genetic. Read more on the warning signs of depression in athletes and what can be done to help recover from it.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a hotly debated condition, to the extent that some medical professionals debate its very existence. CFS has previously been known as Neurasthenia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Treatment of this condition involves relieving the symptoms and easing any pain, and also psychological help to aid recovery.