Mental Health Stigma in Sports

Mental Health Stigma in Sports

The mental health stigma related to people who suffer from a mental disorder can range from misunderstandings to harsh prejudices. Even though the stigma is becoming weaker due to efforts to educate the population on the real sources of mental disorders, some people or groups of people still see mental disorders as a sign of personality flaws or weaknesses.

When it comes to sports and mental health issues, athletes who suffer from a related condition might find themselves unable to seek help or even to talk about it for fear of rejection or possible effects on their career. Some of their concerns may include the following:

  • Losing their position as part of a team
  • Being considered unable to participate in sport activities
  • Receiving mockery or ridicule from other team members
  • Fearing missing recruitment opportunities

This becomes a tougher issue at professional levels where athletes have little privacy and their source of income depends on continuing practicing the sport.

Keeping Appearances Plays a Major Role

An athlete could hide a mental health issue in an effort to keep up with the expectations of the public. Instead of seeking treatment, he or she might suffer in silence to continue being a role model, making others—especially family members—proud. However, this way of living could lead to serious consequences, including the following

  • Alcoholism
  • Prescription drug addiction
  • Illegal drug abuse
  • A constant state of stress and anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Decreased performance
  • Suicidal thoughts

In reality, someone with this kind of situation could end up losing exactly what he or she was trying to keep—a life as a good athlete. These and other risk factors indicate the importance of seeking help instead of trying to hide the issue.

Counseling Help for Athletes

Seeking a professional consultation is a good option for those who want to receive confidential treatment. A psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in mental health conditions and who is bound to keep strict doctor-patient confidentiality. Therapists, counselors, and addiction professionals help many athletes every day. Mental illness help for athletes can be found in the form of therapy sessions.

Also, a physician may recommend staying in a treatment center to receive necessary care in the form of counseling and medical attention. In these cases, the athlete needs to seek a rehab program that understands and can meet the privacy needs of high-profile clients.

Addiction help for athletes is also available for those who are struggling with a compulsive disorder. Dual diagnosis rehab centers specialize in integrated treatment for those suffering from mental health issues and addiction at the same time.

Need Assistance Finding Addiction or Mental Illness Help for Athletes?

Stigmas regarding mental health problems are decreasing as people gain more knowledge about the subject. This allows for better opportunities to seek help. Call our toll-free helpline to receive free advice regarding treatment for mental health disorders and addiction. Lines are available 24 hours a day to give you information about intervention services, dual diagnosis rehab centers, family counseling, mental health assistance, and other useful resources. Take action now and let us help you in the recovery process that will bring you to a healthier lifestyle.