Mental Health Evaluation in Sports Physicals: What to Expect

Mental Health Evaluation in Sports Physicals: What to Expect

Having a healthy body is important when going out for sports. It takes strength, energy, and great discipline to thrive in an athletic environment. But mental health is important for athletes as well. Read below to find out more about the mental health aspect of your physical.

Athletes and Mental Health

Science provides evidence of the positive impact of teen sports. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, students who play team sports have better mental health as young adults. Moreover, physical inactivity is associated with the development of psychological disorders. Thus, being inactive puts teens at a higher risk of developing mental health conditions.

Sports participation does not make an athlete immune from mental health conditions. “Mental health isn’t apart from, but rather a part of athletic health,” explained Brian Hainline, NCAA Chief Medical Officer at the 2017 Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport. “Student athletes, they look fit so, basically, they must be healthy and they must be immune to things like depressive thoughts and suicidal thoughts,” Hainline said. “At times, student athletes are idolized and worshiped as heroes, so of course there can’t be something dark and dire inside of them.”

● 1 in 3 adolescents (31.9 %) met the criteria for anxiety disorder

● 19.1% were affected by behavioral disorders

● 14.3% experienced mood disorders

● 11.4% had substance abuse disorders

● The incidence of depression increases with age

Due to the number of people who suffer from mental disorders, having a teammate with a mental disorder is not uncommon. This does not make you less than any other player, it is just another step in learning more about yourself.

What to Expect?

When the doctor takes family history before the physical begins, sharing information about mental health can make the rest of the appointment a little simpler. The physician can keep that information in mind throughout the appointment and use it as a starting point for other findings.

Always alert your doctor to anything that is bothering you. Your doctor should provide confidentiality, empathy, and understanding. During the assessment, your doctor should be thorough, and may ask questions like:

● What are the features of the illness?

● What is the risk of self-harm or harm to others?

● How disabling is the illness?

● History of depression or bipolar disorder?

● Your general level of satisfaction with work?

● The quality of your relationships – both intimate and with others?

● Your personality style and general coping skills?

● Your drug and alcohol history?

● Is depression or bipolar disorder the main problem, or secondary to another underlying problem (such as anxiety or substance abuse)?

Be Aware

After assessing you, the mental health professional should inform you of the following:

● Whether you have depression or bipolar disorder and if so, what type it is

● Where relevant, you should also be told why the illness developed at this moment

● A management strategy should be recommended, and treatment options offered

Learn More About Mental Health and Sports

At Bass Urgent Care, we know that your team is better when our team works together. Give us a call today at (925) 318-9822 to set up an appointment and let one of our amazing staff members help you get ready for your big game