Running Tracks

Depression

We hear the phrase 'I feel depressed' thrown around casually all the time. But depression is more than just a few days of feeling sad, it's a persistent feeling that goes on for weeks or months.

There are many symptoms of depression, some of which are physical. In sport, these symptoms can feel disruptive to your training, which can make you feel even more frustrated and exasperate these symptoms further.

Psychological symptoms of depression include:

  • Continuous low mood or sadness

  • Feeling hopeless and helpless

  • Having low self-esteem and doubting yourself

  • Feeling guilty

  • Irritability

  • Lack of motivation

  • Not enjoying things you previously did, for example your sport

  • Having suicidal thoughts

Physical symptoms of depression include:

  • Moving or speaking more slowly than usual 

  • Changes in appetite/weight - you could be eating more, or less

  • Constipation

  • Changed sleep – over sleeping, being unable to fall asleep, or waking up intermittently in the night

  • Unexplained pain which you cannot attribute to your typical sporting injuries/aches

  • Lack of energy

  • Low sex drive 

  • Changes to your period

When you do not address mental health challenges, they can have an impact on your ability to perform, and for athletes this may cause further psychological damage where sport is such a big part of their lives.

Do you think you have, or know someone who has depression? Click the buttons below for further information around support.

Please note, this information is not intended to encourage people to self-diagnose. Please seek help from a medical professional if you feel that you need support with your mental health.

If you need urgent mental health support please contact Samaritans on 116 123. If your life is in danger, call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. There is no shame in asking for help.