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For athletes, an injury to the mind is every bit as serious as a dislocated shoulder

Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh


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Simone Biles at the Olympics in Tokyo. Photo: Ashley Landis

Simone Biles at the Olympics in Tokyo. Photo: Ashley Landis

Simone Biles

Simone Biles

Simone Biles of Team United States is embraced by coach Cecile Landi

Simone Biles of Team United States is embraced by coach Cecile Landi

Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh

Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh

/

Simone Biles at the Olympics in Tokyo. Photo: Ashley Landis

“If exercise is so good for you, why do athletes get depressed?” It’s a question I’m often asked. Indeed, it’s the same question that motivated me to return to study sport psychology some years ago.

You learn very quickly that even though athletes can pull off superhuman endeavours, they are not immune from mental illness. In fact, they may be even more susceptible to mental disorders such as anxiety and depression because of the pressurised life they lead.


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