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Anxiety disorders in athletes

Anxiety disorders in athletes

Reardon, Claudia L, Gorczynski, Paul ORCID: 0000-0001-8876-8935 , Hainline, Brian and Rice, Simon (2023) Anxiety disorders in athletes. Clinics in sports medicine. ISSN 0278-5919 (Print), 1556-228X (Online) (doi:

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Key points
• Athletes experience many anxiety symptoms and disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder, at rates approximating those in the non-athlete population.
• Athletes may experience the anxiety-related disorders of obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder at rates exceeding those in the non-athlete population.
• Sport- and non-sport factors may precipitate or worsen anxiety symptoms and disorders in athletes.
• Clinicians should take into account athletes’ psychosocial context and physiology when treating athletes for anxiety symptoms and disorders.
Athletes and non-athletes experience many anxiety-related symptoms and disorders at comparable rates. Contributory factors may include pressure to perform, public scrutiny, sporting career dissatisfaction, injury, and harassment and abuse in sport. Anxiety may negatively impact sport performance. Specific types of anxiety may have unique presentations in athletes. It is important to rule out general medical and substance-related causes of anxiety symptoms. Psychotherapy and pharmacology treatment options should be considered, bearing in mind athletes’ environmental circumstances and physiologies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anxiety; athletes; sports; performance anxiety; psychiatry; psychology; generalized anxiety; panic disorder
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 01:38

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