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
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
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.