THE ANNIHILATION OF ATHLETES

Sportsmen with desires and enthusiasm for living

Read a tweet in which someone very uninformed, with little judgment and little empathy, says that getting to consider the idea of ​​taking your own life is irrational , has motivated me to open a window to debate or reflection on something as delicate and profound as the meaning of your life, or the meaning that you would have to doubt to continue with it.

Until a few years ago talking about suicide was openly considered a taboo, because it maintained a false belief that if you confronted a potential suicide on the subject, you could encourage him to carry it out. But, rather, what has always happened is that we are afraid to face our ghosts and much more, to want to see those of others. That’s why we are silent, we look the other way and deny the desperate reality of those who are asking us, from their silence or their empty gaze, to just listen or ask a simple question: are you okay? you want to talk?…

Clinical psychologists are trained and treated to be able to do this work. In the same way that an athlete takes care of every inch of his body, he knows and recognizes the functioning of each of his muscles and movements, who are dedicated to taking care of people psychologically, supporting them in their crises, we also know what to do before the incredible and unbearable anguish produced by the death anxieties, which are the worst anxieties that can be suffered. At least we are willing and prepared to listen, understand and “treat” those instances of the human being that fragment and weaken their balance.

After treating psychologically and accompanying people of different ages and in different circumstances on their journey through life, trying to survive depression, loneliness, failure, abuse, or loss, I want to tell you that to reach hit bottom, stay without strength or without the possibility of seeing a future horizon, until you have to ask yourself if your life is worth or not worth it, it is not at all irrational, far from it, it is perfectly understandable.

Think that depression basically consists in losing the illusion for everything you do and losing the ability to enjoy , to see yourself well, to value life, to understand why and what you do what you do, what you are, what What you win or what was once a challenge and now does not provide any emotional reaction.

Of course, depression is evidenced in a chemical imbalance, our neurotransmitters stop producing those substances that previously guaranteed that chemistry of happiness and well-being. For this reason, anxiolytic and antidepressant medication helps and is sometimes essential as part of the treatment of depression.

But recovering the illusion and the ability to enjoy, seeing your best possible image before the mirror (the one inside and the one in front of you), is what truly makes life meaningful again.

No one would imagine that an elite athlete, to be able to become one, has to let himself go to the limit, and that his concept of limit becomes infinite, even until he annihilates him. Nor is it easy, from a distance, to imagine that even success or fame can also overwhelm you and produce a paradoxical emotional state, which is not always pleasant or fun, but becomes more pressure, more demand, but build an ideal of perfection not only for itself, but to cover the expectations it has generated.

How to absorb so many “extreme” things? What you do in your disciplines and other Earthlings seems extraordinary, but the life you take to get it is full of loneliness, of moments of excessive and harsh self-criticism and of continuously measuring your worth in minutes, seconds, kilos, goals, brands …

Thinking about your mental health exclusively, it only occurs to me to ask you to take care of your STRENGTH OF SELF, which is the capacity that a subject has to manage in his life with adaptability, flexibility, to face different situations and solve them, to instrumentalize efficient defenses when those situations become hostile or dangerous.

Also the adequate strength of the self serves us not only to face adversities, but also to deal with impulses, emotional states that come from within and that cause great discomfort.

In competitive sport it is easy to confuse what I am (identity) with what I do (talent, skill). Before defining yourself as an athlete, it is fundamental, vital, to define yourself as a person, to build your self-esteem and self-image for what you are , having at your side emotionally significant people who want you unconditionally, that is, not to be measured by your achievements or failures, that they love you just for existing, for your personal qualities. There the fundamental role of families and friends.

Coaches: if you want to have competitive athletes and winners, help them build and maintain the strength of the self. Whoever has a strong personality, that is to say, nourished, with a self-esteem, self-image and positive self-concept, allows himself to learn from error, values ​​the effort in addition to achievement, and above all, can be happy, excited, because what he does, his sport, is at the service of the construction of its identity (what it is).

Happy people and integrated mind-body-emotion, are psychically strong, can develop a better tolerance to failure and also know how to overcome the sudden and volatile success. I think that coaches must also take care of their athletes psychologically, in addition to being technical and motivating to achieve, they must have a great intuition and know when to sit down and talk.

If it happens that you have reached the bottom, to feel that the depression is insurmountable, do not stay alone, ask for help. There are people by your side, no one is totally alone, look around you and scream, shout very loudly, ask for help. We are there for you