Many of us idolize professional athletes, and their athleticism, competitive feats and dedication can leave us with the impression that they are well-oiled machines. This, however, masks the reality: They are individuals who sometimes need — yet don't get — mental health treatment.
Research Assistants Tiffany Tran, Cameron Johnson and Led Camille Soriano examined the stigma that prevents many from seeking treatment in How to Destigmatize Mental Health Treatment in Sports, which appears on Mind Matters from Menninger, our blog on Psychology Today.
They write, "If idolized professional athletes receive a less-than-positive response after engaging in mental health treatment, other athletes (or non-athletes) in need of care may fear being judged if they seek their own treatment. Instead of engaging in preventative care, individuals today often wait until symptom severity reaches an intolerable peak, resulting in a need for more intensive treatment."