Injured athletes battle mental illness more
The Grio - 07/30/2012
Injured athletes have an increased risk of developing mental illnesses and are less likely to seek psychiatric help, according to new research presented in this month’s edition of Current Psychiatry.
This is particularly alarming for African-American athletes, because statistics confirm that blacks are less likely to seek mental health services than any other demographic group.
Many successful athletes put their primary focus into the sport rather than exploring other activities. So, if an injury prevents them from playing, they can experience loss of identity.
“If their self-esteem, self worth and identity is wrapped up in that, it’s not healthy,” says Peter Roby, athletic director at Northeastern University. “When they lose that opportunity to play because of injury… there’s a real transition problem. There’s an inability to identify themself as a normal, mainstream citizen of the world.”