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Depression IN SPORTS

Depression in a worldwide concern across ranges of population and athletes are not sparred. Although physical activity under normal circumstances improves psychological health by improving social interaction, decreasing psychosocial stress and depression there are factors that may lead an athlete being depressed.
  • Injury: long-term or career ending injur
  • Lack of selection or a fall out with support staff or team mates
  • Financial challenges: less or no monetary support, loss/termination of contract
  • Social scrutiny: being constantly criticized be it by supporters, media etc.
  • Social problems at home
In the COVID-19 era, long-term inactivity, limited or no financial support, decreased social interaction, uncertainty in the future amongst others are some key factors which put the athlete population at a high risk of depression.
 
SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR INCLUDE:
  • A low mood
  • Poor concentration/memory loss
  • Low energy/feeling tired most of the time
  • Feeling guilty, blaming yourself or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in things you like
  • Poor sleep patterns (difficulty getting to sleeping or short periods of sleep involving getting up in the middle of the night
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation/psychomotor retardation
  • Suicidal thoughts
It is important to look out for these signs and any 5 of these for a duration 2 weeks point to depression and you need to be seen by a health professional. The athlete in their case where available should get in touch with their team personnel whom will have to refer them to a sports psychologist or a review by a general practitioner.
 
The team physicians or medical personnel are encouraged to screen their athletes for these for early recognition (most importantly during this period)and work closely with a psychologist, dietician and other support structures for initiation of treatment, therapy and rehabilitation of the athlete.
 
PREVENTION
There is no absolute prevention measure of depression however to lessen chances of depression one can, be in close contacts with friends and family, regular physical exercise, avoid long periods of being alone, try to be optimistic or hopeful most of the time, maintain a healthy diet, do not find comfort in drugs and alcohol as they are not a solution to the problem and do not be afraid to speak out your problems to someone.

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Preparations going accordingly

Zebras assistant coach Keitumetse Paul says Batswana should not be bothered by Zambia and support their team at this point in time. Paul said the technical team had to strategize on how they will get the team in the shape that is needed ahead of the AFCON qualifier.

Paul, who is also the national under 20 head coach, said he was currently taking charge of the Zebras in the absence of head-coach Adel Amrouche. Amrouche is set to return from Belgium this Friday. Paul highlighted that the head-coach is very much in charge of the team as he gives direction on training session, and is consulted on daily progress.

Paul highlighted the importance of supporting the Zebras. He said the Zebras have the heart and they are fearless as they continue to prepare for Novembers international games.

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