Why Does Stress Turn Into Depression?

Athletes are not made in a day. Sure, some are naturally talented, but not all. Athletes have to work hard to get where they are. They have to undergo strenuous exercise and strict dietary restrictions. And that is not all. Athletes need order in life. And that comes at a price. Most sportspeople adapt to their new lifestyle pretty quickly, while others take time. And after a while, it can take a form of stress. You might not realize it, but athletes are under a lot of stress. Some know how to use this stress for their good. But that does not happen with all of them. There is only so much stress that one’s mind can take. And once that threshold is achieved, athletes start slipping into depression. There is a serious connection between stress and depression. Once you understand the relationship, it might become easier for you to prevent it. Stress and depression are not alien to anyone. We all know about it, we acknowledge the existence, but we never truly accept it. It should not come as a surprise that athletes have a high probability of developing depression. It starts slow and eventually takes over their life.

STRESS AND DEPRESSION- A CONNECTION

When you talk about stress concerning an Athlete, it might be considered a good thing, in moderation. It keeps you on your toes, keeps you alert, and helps you fight the danger, which in an Athletes’s case is the opponent. Stress naturally improves your performance in any condition. It is the pressure that turns coal into a diamond. That is why your coach puts you through a lot, hoping that you would come out as a rising star form the other end. In the beginning, it works, because the challenges you face are simple. And it fills you with happiness. But eventually, things start getting tough. And if you don’t keep up, this stress can harm you and your performance. Failure to meet your goals and perform under stress can lead to depression. Your elated mind soon succumbs to the sorrows of stress and results in depression. Depression can be caused by one of these things- extreme stress or chronic stress. In the case of a sportsperson, it is a combination of both.

SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF DEPRESSION

As mentioned earlier, depression stems from stress. And stress is a significant part of an athlete’s life. Your coach has certain expectations from you. Do you want to disappoint him? There is a big game coming up. Don’t you want to train harder to win it? You put yourself in this position- to perform better to achieve better things. And when things don’t go according to your plans, you start slipping into depression.
But the most challenging thing is to determine if someone has a problem. As you know, depression is a mental illness. And until you accept it yourself, there is no way anyone can convince you that you have depression. It is excruciatingly tough for an athlete to admit that he has a mental disorder. Most sports people fail to notice vital signs of depression. It is caused because a sportsman is trained to be physically and mentally sturdy. They unknowingly choose to ignore the signs of symptoms. It is because they are under the impression that it cannot happen to them.

MAJOR CAUSES WHICH CONVERT STRESS TO DEPRESSION

Stress is always there- be it on a minor level or a significant level. But there are specific ways in which you can deal with it. The problem, in the case of a sportsperson, is that he has minimal options to deal with stress. Most people turn to their family or someone they can trust when they face extreme stress. But that is practically impossible for a sportsperson. For instance, cricketers go on international tours and have to stay months away from their families. Imagine what that can do to a soul? The pressure of performing good, making centuries is already there, and lack of family makes it even worse. And this can hurt your performance. The bad performance further leads to self-doubt and depression. It is a vicious cycle. And the only way to break it is by accepting that you have a problem. Athletes are not made in a day. Sure, some are naturally talented, but not all. Athletes have to work hard to get where they are. They have to undergo strenuous exercise and strict dietary restrictions. And that is not all. Athletes need order in life. And that comes at a price. Most sportspeople adapt to their new lifestyle pretty quickly, while others take time. And after a while, it can take a form of stress. You might not realize it, but athletes are under a lot of stress. Some know how to use this stress for their good. But that does not happen with all of them. There is only so much stress that one’s mind can take. And once that threshold is achieved, athletes start slipping into depression. There is a serious connection between stress and depression. Once you understand the relationship, it might become easier for you to prevent it. Stress and depression are not alien to anyone. We all know about it, we acknowledge the existence, but we never truly accept it. It should not come as a surprise that athletes have a high probability of developing depression. It starts slow and eventually takes over their life.

MAJOR CAUSES WHICH CONVERT STRESS TO DEPRESSION

Stress is always there- be it on a minor level or a significant level. But there are specific ways in which you can deal with it. The problem, in the case of a sportsperson, is that he has minimal options to deal with stress. Most people turn to their family or someone they can trust when they face extreme stress. But that is practically impossible for a sportsperson. For instance, cricketers go on international tours and have to stay months away from their families. Imagine what that can do to a soul? The pressure of performing good, making centuries is already there, and lack of family makes it even worse. And this can hurt your performance. The bad performance further leads to self-doubt and depression. It is a vicious cycle. And the only way to break it is by accepting that you have a problem.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Once you accept that you have a problem, you need to take steps to better things. Start with baby steps- confide in a friend or family member. Relieve yourself of the burden. Next, you should start with counseling or therapy. Take a break from your athlete-life. Indulge yourself in some relaxing activities of exercises. Calm your mind. You should also know that there are many drugs available that will help you deal with depression. But they should be the last resort. 

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