Athletes may face anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or substance abuse when sidelined with an injury. Emotional recovery can be a harder concept to think about when it comes to traumatic injury recovery. Although injuries do happen in sports, people mostly only think about physical rehab and don’t consider the emotional costs. Learn more about why this is an important concept to focus on when helping athletes in recovery.
Signs of Struggle
Athletes are susceptible to many issues when faced with struggles around injury. Depression, eating disorders, or substance use can come as a result of an injury. It is normal for people who are injured to have a range of emotions and side effects from sadness to exhaustion. For athletes struggling with injuries, it helps to pay attention to warning signs they are struggling with the emotional side of the injury:
Sometimes things get worse rather than better. If an athlete who has been injured is struggling, they may have longer lasting depression and frustration than just mild symptoms associated with the injury.
- Restrictive eating habits will emerge. When injured athletes decide to go on a low caloric deity, they feel can’t burn off excess calories. Healthy eating should always be encouraged but treating food as if it should be earned through exercise is not healthy. Women and men are both at risk for eating disorders (restrictive eating habits, throwing up, throwing food away, etc).
- Excessive sadness that is pervasive and long-lasting. If a person becomes despondent, rather than merely sad for a time after an injury, it may be cause for concern.
Oftentimes, an athlete at any level can feel as though their entire life is sidelined when an injury occurs. While coaches and loved ones should expect some sadness, worsening depression and despondency should be signs for concern that lead to seeking professional help.
Help for Injuries
Anybody can fall victim to injuries through sports or other hobby activities like basketball, baseball, or other sports. Even if a person is just a hobby athlete and not professional, an injury can wreck not only the game, but the person’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth and even their life. Recognizing the signs a person is struggling can help them cope emotionally as well as physically. Knowing someone is there to see the struggle and offer help is the best thing anybody can do. Likewise, a person can overcome some of the emotional impact of injury by maintaining a good sleep regimen each night, finding other ways of competing, finding therapeutic help for the emotional side of the injury, and seeking companionship with others who understand the love of competing and sport.
Sound Recovery understands mental health and wellness. We are here to help you if you are sidelined by physical and emotional challenges due to injury or other challenges in life. Don’t suffer in silence. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.