Mental health: Info for parents of student-athletes

Going to college is all about finding the right path in life. Youngsters who play sports in high school often continue these activities in college or university. Not only are they students, but also athletes. Sports come in a large selection, including football, wrestling, golf, tennis, and swimming. Every student has the chance to participate in sports. Organized physical activities provide many benefits, yet they aren’t all it’s cracked up to be. Student-athletes are at a great risk for developing mental health diseases. What? Yes, a great number of young elite sportspeople experience depression or anxiety. Some even struggle with binge eating disorders and desperately seek food addiction treatment. It’s the responsibility of the family to spot problems and take action before it’s too late.  

Mental health in student-athletes

Sports, no matter if we’re talking about soccer or tennis, is result-driven. This means that it’s focused only on outcomes and achievements. Sports isn’t just fun and games. Students who take part in the physical activity do it because they want to win and be the best. Naturally, fighting to win draws on competition. Each new athlete pushes themselves to the limit, trying to reach new heights and establish records. They forget all about their social life and concentrate on being successful. It’s no wonder that young athletes succumb to mental illness. There are under too much pressure. Speaking out when needing help is out the question. Mental health disorders are considered a shame.

Professional athletes have started to go public with their problems. Now, they are willing to admit to having problems such as drug addiction. Substance abuse and professionals athletes is a topic well-worth discussing. Nonetheless, this isn’t the time or the place. We’re focusing on student-athletes who, just like the pros, are subject to a great deal of stress and are likely to develop certain disorders, such as harmful use of substances or binge eating. Speaking of binge eating, at intense levels of competition, those involved in sports follow strict diets and training regimens. They don’t become obese or overweight, which is the reason why nobody can tell that there is something wrong with them.

Signs that your student-athlete experiences mental health issues

Student-athletes are required to deal with countless psychological demands, such as excessive training volumes and mental and physical fatigue. While some are capable of coping with these requirements, others are not. Families should watch their children very carefully. If they manage to recognize depression or anxiety on time, then problems won’t occur later on. Parents should be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Alterations in sleep patterns
  • Near-complete lack of contact between the student and society
  • Mood swings
  • Performing less than usual

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, young athletes fail to seek treatment. Actually, they don’t even admit to having a problem. Families need to stage an intervention and convince their loved one that they aren’t healthy. The youngster may be reluctant to receive assistance, fearing that they will be viewed with through different eyes, which is a disadvantage. It’s important to not give up on the student-athlete and insist until they change their mind.