Psychiatry in Sports Medicine
Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Psychiatrists in Sports Medicine assess psychological problems that may impede the well-being and peak performance of an athlete.
At the Pre-Pro Institute, we use psychiatry to alleviate symptoms that may be hampering performance both on and off the field. We use medications as a last resort, preferring psychology, therapy, acupuncture, group meetings, etc. before prescribing.
Psychiatry involves treating mental disorders or symptoms with medication and psychotherapy. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medications whereas psychologists are Ph.D's and cannot prescribe. Often psychiatrists will prescribe medications for their patients and will refer them to a psychotherapist as well. Sometimes patients don’t need both, and will either take medications or see a therapist. Psychiatric medication is used to treat conditions like insomnia, depression, anxiety, etc.
As many as one in five college level athletes may be depressed (1). However, an athlete suffering from depression may be inclined not to discuss it and internalize his/her symptoms. They may be not want to disturb the coach or Athletic Director with symptoms that may indicate a “weakness.” In addition, he/she may fear medication without realizing there are many alternative methods of treatments including psychology, therapy, counsel, and more.
Overall, mental health is often disregarded in sports, as it is much easier to go to the orthopedist and have your fracture set in an operating room. In response, Pre-Pro Institute was founded to not only raise awareness for mental health, but to improve it as well. We believe mental health should be treated as seriously as physical health.
We believe strong mental health can lead to improved quality of performance. This is why evaluations at PPI focus on the human before the sport, spanning from when they were a child until present. The actual sport itself will be discussed, but it is only one factor in understanding the whole individual. From the evaluation, a performance plan recommends the psychological, psychiatric, therapeutic, and counseling services that may be most beneficial to the patient/athlete's success.