Mental Wellness in Competitive Sports

Mental health is an aspect of health that describes mental well-being and is a component of holistic well-being.  Being well at the mental health level is part therefore of the overall individual’s health and describes the situation beyond absence of illness.

What is mental health awareness? These are the multifaceted efforts aimed at reducing all forms of stigma involving mental illness and all other attendant mental health conditions chiefly through encouraging individuals to share their own personal experiences. Mental health may result into the following;

  • Psychotic disorders.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality disorders.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Impulse control and addiction disorders.
  • Factitious disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders.

Some of these disorders can lead to suicidal behaviors. Suicide also occurs within the contexts of a major depressive episode; psychotic drugs use and alcohol consumption.

Those in competitive sports may be more at risk of suicide behaviour both at ideation and intent levels. This may be due to the pressure to perform, adapting to the sudden windfall of large financial winning, relocations, handling managers and sponsors, family pressures and media among others.

Suicidality refers to a wide range of thoughts and behaviors which include passive ideation (thoughts about not wanting to live anymore); lethal attempts to end one’s life and non-suicidal self-injurious behavior which include acts of self-harm.

According to the Mayo Clinic (USA), some of the symptoms or suicide warning signs include:

  • Talking about suicide; for example, making statements such as “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”
  • Getting the means to take your own life, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills.
  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone.
  • Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next.
  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence.
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation.
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns.
  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly.
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there’s no other logical explanation for doing this.
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again.
  • Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above.

These Warning signs/symptoms present differently from one individual to the other.  It is thus urgent for those in competitive sports to get  awareness and the empowerment to help them come out and share on any stressing concerns. An increase in deaths through suicide has been recorded in Kenya in the last five years among those in competitive sports. Thus, the need for awareness creation and support in this area remains a pressing issue.

We tackle ‘Personality Disorders’ next, see you then!

Sign up for the MSA Program https://portal.msa.co.ke/register

Written By;

Rev’d. Dr. James N. Mbugua PhD.

Mental Wellness Expert

8 comments on “Mental Wellness in Competitive Sports

  1. Sylvia Tallam Reply

    Mental health is more important now than ever before; it impacts every area of our lives. Happy reading.

  2. Norberto Reply

    Highly descriptive article, I loved that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

    Also visit my blog: Twicsy

    1. MSA Reply

      Glad you loved it.
      Yes, part two will be posted on 21st.

  3. Flossie Reply

    Thanks for sharing such a good opinion, paragraph is nice, thats why i have read it completely

    my homepage – do brands on instagram buy likes and follower

    1. MSA Reply

      Glad you loved it. Check out our articles on other topics.

  4. Tera Reply

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing on your rss feed
    and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!

  5. car cleaning kit Reply

    Thank you ever so for you blog.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  6. Darci Reply

    Hello friends, how is all, and what you wish for to say about this paragraph,
    in my view its genuinely awesome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The Momentum Sports Africa (MSA) Program includes eight programs on different fields with the aim to build your capacity. Click the button to Learn More.

Friends of MSA

What are they saying

Biko Adema

Nondies RFC Rugby Player

I was excited to join Momentum Sports Africa's platform and build my professional brand further through their support and guidance. The nutritional advice I got has allowed me to consider the most appropriate diet choices based around my daily schedules.

Benson Salem

Nondies RFC Rugby Player

I am privileged and excited to be working with Momentum Sports Africa in building my brand as a sports person. I got equipped with the right information about Nutrition so that I can be in perfect health to compete effectively and I’m looking forward for more.

Fidens Onyango

Nondies RFC Rugby Player

I enjoyed the Profile interview as I got to share a little about my personal life as well as my sports life and it was the first step of building my brand as a Sportsperson. The Nutrition interview was quite educational as I got to learn a lot about the best foods to eat at different times of the day during both on and off-season.

Ian Mumbwani

Nondies RFC Rugby Player

Momentum Sports Africa is a professional organisation and breath of fresh air in the sporting scene, I am stoked to have worked with them in an upcoming production that has given athletes like myself a platform to create my own brand as well as equip me with the right information in as far as Body Nutrition is concerned, I am excited and can't wait until it's out. Thank you MSA.