When you are something of a fitness freak, it’s a way of life. You get up early to exercise, you are always careful about your nutrition, and your healthy activity is part of your lifestyle. And when you are fit and able, you feel great.
But what happens when you suffer from a long-term injury, and all that is taken away from you? Many psychological factors can arise through injury, and it can have a surprising impact on fitness fanatics. Let’s take a look at what those psychological consequences are so that if the worst happens to you, you will be prepared.
Anxiety and stress
When a major event stops you from leading your normal lifestyle, it can have a huge effect on your mental wellbeing. Anxiety and stress are all too common, and in some cases - depending on the extent of the injury - you could end up with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorders. When you feel anxious, you may start to make strange choices - perhaps you will start training again before you are ready, or maybe your moods will impact your relationships at home. And let’s not forget that stress can be a very dangerous condition. It often leads to further complications such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart problems.
Loneliness and envy
There’s a scene in the 1980s comedy Trading Places where Dan Aykroyd's character ends up staring through an expensive restaurant’s window. His life has gone from its highest point to its lowest, and he can see all his old friends inside enjoying expensive food and drink, having a great time. And then it starts raining. This is exactly how you will feel during your recovery period. You will miss the camaraderie of the gym or sports club. And you will watch all your old teammates and workout partners go about their business, while being unable to join them.
A long-term injury can also be a scary time. You will be worried about whether you will be able to get back to the fitness levels you were at before. You will also be concerned about injuring yourself or making things worse. As the attorneys at Hastings Law Firm point out, you may be eligible for compensation if the injury gets worse because a medical professional gives you incorrect instructions. But, ultimately, no matter how much money you win, you could still be out of action for a long time - and that is what makes you afraid.
Depression and low self-esteem
As a fitness fanatic, you are used to having all those endorphins flying around your brain, and they make you feel great. Take them away, however, and the impact can be devastating. You will suffer from a sense of low self-esteem and self-worth. You might have to endure bouts of deep depression. And those feelings can slowly start creeping into other areas of your life, from work through to your family.
Solving the problem
So, what can you do about the psychological impact of a severe injury? Social support is critical, and you may also benefit from counseling from a psychologist or therapist. It’s also good to develop other hobbies that you can use to distract yourself during downtime. Good luck!