Chronic pain and mental health disorders often occur together. In fact, research suggests that chronic pain and mental health problems can contribute to and exacerbate the other.
For that athlete who viewed the 2020 Olympics as the pinnacle of their career, or for that senior in college who was excited to share their last championship with their teammates, the pandemic has brought about an anti-climactic and disappointing end to their season and a forced break from training, and, for some, forced premature retirement. Sports retirement is often a major life transition for an athlete and can therefore be a major psychological challenge.
Positive social connections have consistently been shown to support mental health and well-being. New research finds that social support is also key to coping with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has upended life for most of us, and the uncertainty, economic strain and isolation have left many struggling with stress, anxiety or depression.
- By Stephen Chen, M.D. Candidate
In this time of COVID-19, no one wants sports back than the athletes themselves. In a recent study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin, 68% of the 3,243 high school student-athletes surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, an uptick of about 37% from past, pre-pandemic studies.
Each year more than 45,000 lives are lost to suicide in the U.S. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults 35 to 54 years old and the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults aged 10 to 34 years. (1) But there is hope. New research is helping us understand who is at greatest risk—and this understanding will help psychiatrists and the mental health field at large save lives.