Athletes face the psychological risks of changing lifestyle due to corona


The whole world suffers from the tails of the emerging coronavirus, which has put nearly three billion people in quarantine, but athletes face additional risks affecting mental health as they move from a very active lifestyle to isolation and boredom.

Despite showing a section of athletes stranded behind closed doors due to the curfew and the postponement or cancellation of all local, continental and international tournaments, there is some optimism by publishing videos of themselves training or taking on Internet challenges such as dancing the toilet tissue, the pressure caused by adapting to the new reality and the mysterious future It may have an effect.

The Australian Tennis Association Medical Officer Carolyn Broderick said in an interview with AFP that the long-term impact of an epidemic such as SARS and swine flu on athletes, such as cases of severe anxiety, obsessive hand-washing and fear of approaching people.

But the impact of the current epidemic is unprecedented, especially after all sports activities around the world have been interrupted due to “Covid-19” Virus Which the WHO classified as a pandemic after it infected the whole world, and the number of deaths as of Tuesday morning reached more than 38 thousand people out of about 800 thousand cases.

It is expected that athletes will not be spared the negative effects of this virus, if they were of the level of American tennis legend Serena Williams, who had experienced depression during her career, or promising stars who were looking for what awaits them this summer in the Summer Olympics before a decision was made. Postponed until the summer of 2021 as a result of “Covid-19”.

Serena, 38, who needs a single grand title in order to equal the absolute record of the Grand Slam nickname registered with Australian Margaret Court (24), acknowledged that social separation due to the virus had caused her “a lot of tension.”

She noted, through the application “Tik Tok” that “every stray person is making me crazy. With great anxiety, I mean that I am on the edge of the abyss. Whenever someone around me sneezes or coughs, I feel crazy.”

Even before the virus, top athletes suffered from depression resulting from fatigue, stress, and physical and mental requirements, from Serena to her compatriots swimming and olympic legend Michael Phelps and former mixed martial arts champion Ronda Rousey and former boxing legend Mike Tyson, right up to the former New Zealand rugby star John Kirwan .

Olympic Games

Sure, the decision to delay the games The Olympic in Tokyo Until the summer of 2021, it will leave a negative impact on the thousands of athletes who put their daily jobs aside in order to prepare themselves for the most important event for any athlete.

This is the case of the American quartet Kate Nye, who admitted to Wood TV that “I will be lying if I say I am well. Like most people, I am fighting my own ways,” referring to her diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Concerns were also raised about Australian swimmers and cricket players, after athletes in both sports suffered from documented psychological problems in the past.

Justin Langer, the Australian men’s cricket coach, touched on the issue, saying “With regard to mental health, we talked about it in a conference call this week, especially regarding any of our crew or players who are alone in their homes. We have to monitor these men.” And girls to make sure they’re okay. “

Double suffering

Carolyn Broderick, who was formerly Deputy Medical Director of Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics and now works as a member of the National Rugby League advisory committee as well as her job as a medical officer for the Australian Tennis Association, saw the effects of isolation could be more severe for athletes.

“They suffer from the same psychological problems that everyone suffers from, but they also suffer from stress and anxiety about their future, which they cannot easily control. They do not know what is the next stage or how long they will remain in quarantine or isolation.”

Many sports organizations have moved to provide support for athletes, but there are some sports that have resorted to reducing salaries in order to avoid the enormous financial losses in light of the stopping the championships, which reduces their ability to psychological assistance.

Broderick considered that drug use or excessive consumption of alcohol is a clear indication of the problems, explaining, “Stress and anxiety can manifest itself in the abuse of drugs. This is what I will look for (signs), if they use alcohol as a support.”

“Certainly there was some concern. Senior professional athletes can cope with losing part of the income, but there are a lot of athletes on the sidelines (in terms of financial ability). If you don’t play for a few months, there is a huge income loss as well.”

Broderick recommended that athletes stick to the routine, focus on what they can control and use their free time to pursue a hobby or train online to maintain their mental health.


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