Sports Injury and DepressionDr. Eddie O’Connor recently made another guest appearance on The Sports Project, where he discussed a very important topic: Sports injury and depression. Click here to listen to the complete interview.

Without the normal preseason and preparation, injuries have been up in the NFL. Here is a bit of advice for the athlete dealing with injury: do not quickly label yourself as “depressed” based solely on your immediate reaction to your injury.

There is a normal amount of sadness and disappointment that should actually be expected with such adversity. It isn’t the presence of these sad feelings that is the problem, rather it is how you may respond. Allow yourself time to honor your feelings. Once you welcome this sadness and disappointment, you can shift your focus to problem-solving.

After an injury, it is common to want to be alone for a day or two to process your grief. However, isolation becomes an issue when it extends to one or more weeks. Specifically, you’ll want to seek help if the isolation is no longer helping your grief process, but rather hurting your rehabilitation and progress.

During injury and rehabilitation, there is an opportunity to develop your mental game. Staying involved with the team can be a helpful response. Support from teammates, continued participation and preparation, and contributing in unique ways to stay a part of the team are just a few of the benefits. Keep in touch with the medical team as well, and follow their advice. It is their job to get you back as safely and as quickly as possible.

You don’t have to go through this alone. Contact Dr. Eddie O’Connor for individual consulting, or join our community of high achievers overcoming obstacles to excellence in Success Stories Membership.

And because you get annoyed when people want to “focus on the bright side” (what is the bright side of this injury again? Really!?!) click here to access my FREE video, “What To Do When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work.”