Sports Psychology
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Depression and

Do you experience swings in your feelings or moods? 
      It is natural to experience a brief period of being low after not passing a test or performing poorly in a competition. However, if a pattern of extreme depression, lasting for extended periods of time, is exhibited then professional counseling is urgently need to insure the proper treatment.

      Euphoria is a temporary response to passing a test or performing at a personal best in a competition. This naturally invokes a pleasant feeling expressed in various degrees of happiness and satisfaction. It is also quite natural to feel disappointed and even temporally depressed after receiving an unexpected lower grade on a test, placing lower than anticipated in a sporting activity, or not qualifying for a place on a team.

      Most individuals will quickly rebound from periods of unhappiness/disapointment. Those individuals with positive personalities will not dwell on their problems. They turn their efforts to resolving problems and turning lemons into lemonade.

      It is not normal to be in a constant state of euphoria! These individuals may be blocking out unpleasant situations from their memory. A forced state of happiness may actually be a state of denial that requires professional counseling.

      Anabolic steroids, both oral and injectable, have been found to cause changes in brain wave activity similar to those that are observed because of stimulants and anti-depressants. A pattern of extreme high and low moodiness is symptomatic of a serious problem that requires medical diagnose and treatment.

Drug Induced Changes in Behavior
      Severe irritability and mood swings are a symptoms of anabolic/androgenic steroid use. Anabolic steroids, may also have the opposite psychological effect in some abusers as the drugs mimicking the effects of anti-depressant drugs.

      When steroid use is stopped, a period of rebound is generally experienced. However, the loss of euphoria followed by deep depression signals that the individual may be psychologically crippled and will relapse back into their steroid addiction without concerted medical intervention.

      There is the mounting evidence that anabolic steroids cause severe and sometimes permanent mental disorders. Athletes may become paranoid and unreasonable which causes extreme friction with team mates and coaches.
      Steroids have been found to be extremely addictive. Once addicted, the individual escalates their use in a progression of higher dosages to maintain their state of euphoria.

      Doctor Ritchi Morris, a New York based sports psychologist, found a connection between steroid use and a depression syndrome this is commonly found among alcoholics and cocaine users. All of the addicted athletes experienced significant depression during their off cycles.

      A gradual tapering off of the anabolic steroids is considered essential to avoid the "anabolic shock", which occurs when the use of steroids are abruptly discontinued.

Emotions affect the moods, attitudes, and confidence levels of players
      In team sports it is especially easy to see how quickly the mood can change from being high to extremely low after an especially important and possible game winning play has occurred. The spectators and players alike are affected. One minute the fans of one team are cheering loudly and the next an eerie calm blankets the fans whose team has committed the error on the field.

      Emotions also can play an important role in sports that consist of several events over a period of several hours or days. Emotional highs and lows that rapidly occur tend to drain the energy of spectators and athletes.

      Many think of emotions as a component or extension of the mental process. Other researchers subscribe to the theory if we look closely at emotions as component of the total human experience that there is a discernible boundary between our emotional and mental states.  Some Psychology studies tend to discount the importance of emotions, such as feeling afraid or angry, other than being negative forces that can be controlled or suppressed.

      Most people accept that it is natural to accept small changes in moods that can occur rapidly or gradually build until a tipping point is reached. Changes in moods be caused by an undeniable situation or be an accumulation on multiple issues or confrontations that are harder to pinpoint as a primary source. Whatever the cause(s), the result can be very pervasive to a point that our reactions become destructive to our personal relationships.

     A positive attitude is strongly associated with high energy levels and a corresponding feeling of confidence. When a person is experiencing a bad mood, they typically feel and act grumpy, snap at people without provocation and complain of having low energy levels. The excessive use of stimulants and problems regulating blood sugar levels, contribute to mood swings. Medications, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills, narcotics, and recreational drugs, are known to interfere with neurotransmitters and can trigger cycles of up and down emotions that led to clinical depression if not treated.

     People who are in a positive mood approach tasks with the expectation that they will not experience any problems that they can't solve. Being positive is also associated with a persistent, try harder attitude compare to individuals with a neutral or negative mood.

Recommended Reading:

Adolescent - Bipolar Mood Disorder  Excerpts from Your Adolescent on Bipolar Mood Disorder. Some teenagers are troubled by both depressed and elevated or euphoric moods.

Life on a Roller Coaster   Manic depressives experience alternating moods of depression and euphoria. There can (blessedly) be periods of relative normalcy in between.

Alcohol Affects Your Mood and Causes Depression  Oct. 14, 2010  Everyone experiences mood swings and bouts of depression. Alcohol has a significant effect on a person’s mood and depression; it can increase the intensity and duration. Many alcoholics report that they drank mainly to enhance their mood or self medicate their own problems like depression, stress, and anxiety.

Introduction - Modifying Skills and Habits


PDF  Emotion Theory and Research: Highlights ... - Annual Reviews
Emotion feeling is a phase of neurobiological activity.

Social adversity and mental functions in adolescents Coping with social risks may depend on there being a sequential set of mental processes involving emotion recognition and appraisal of the implications.

History of Cognitive Psychology   Compiled by the Cognitive Processes Classes, Fall, 1997 - Mill states that the mind must be studied through its reduction or analysis into elementary components. Mill believed that ideas and sensations are only certain kinds of mental processes. ... what is perceived; and affections, which are the constituents of emotions.

Child Brain Development and Early Child Development Articles   Above all, emotional intelligence is as important as mental IQ. Develop ... Emotional development is a slow process too. Here are .... But too much praise can demotivate children rather than motivate them to extend themselves and take risks.

Drugs and depression  Sept. 22, 2010 Depression and recreational drug use are both common. ... and occasionally the person's mood can swing between depression and euphoria.

Euphoric Depression? Anyone Have This Experience? - Bipolar  But have people experienced the opposite, a euphoric depression, that is you ... attempt - I was psychotic, paranoid and delusional and in a great deal of pain.

Definition of Euphoria - Depression   Aug. 31, 2011  Terms - Euphoria and Depression. Definition: Feeling of well-being or elation. When euphoria results from positive life events, it is normal and positive.

Manage Bipolar Mania: What It Is, Symptoms, Medications   There's a period of denial that mania -- the wonderful surge of energy and euphoria -- truly needs treatment. ... and all involve episodes of mania and depression -- but to varying degrees. ... And that's the hardest thing for people to deal with.

All About Depression: Diagnosis  June 8, 2010 ... This may be compared with bipolar depression which has the two poles of depressed mood and mania (i.e., euphoria, heightened emotion and ...

The benefits of running Runners say the intense exhilaration and euphoria comes after a run. Sports drinks and smoothies claim to enhance performance. Running is often used to treat clinical depression.

FAQ about Methamphetamine A. Athletes and students sometimes begin using meth because of the initial heightened physical and ... Even small amounts of methamphetamine can produce euphoria, ... chronic depression, hallucinations, violent and aggressive behavior.

Doping Prevention: Respiratory system ... analgesic effects, respiratory depression, constipation and euphoria. ... The use of pain killers is frequent in sports, especially among athletes ...

Emotional Fitness and other health resources   Sports and exercise therapists are specialists who are trained to identify, ... A negative mood and negative emotions include depression, ... This feeling of euphoria, happiness, and bliss often occurs with intense sports activity.

Periodic bouts of euphoria -  April 29, 2011  List of disease causes of Periodic bouts of euphoria, patient stories, etc.  Depression undiagnosed in teenagers: Serious bouts of depression that occur in female athletes can result eating disorders.

An Essay Mania In Bipolar Depression  "Psychosocial Treatments For Bipolar Depression" - Analysis ... In some cases people never experience euphoria during mania, but go directly to a deep state of depression.



The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Alcohol Abuse
Drug Abuse
Caffeine Use
Nicotine Use
Response to Stressors
Learning to be Helpless
Depression and Elation
Eating Disorders
Learning Disorders
Stress and Anxiety
Athlete Motivation
Flow/Peak Performance
Focus & Concentration
Goals and Objectives
Goal Setting
Personal Sabotage
Self Fulfilling Prophecy

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