Setting the bar: athletes and vulnerability to mental illness

Lynette Hughes and Gerard Leavey

Summary Whereas physical activity is generally considered a health benefit, extreme exercise may be harmful. Of particular concern in this regard is the considerable variation between doctors in the primary care setting and those working within the sports setting around the diagnosis and treatment of athletes presenting with similar symptoms. Known risk factors for athletes are herein presented to raise awareness of the negative side of sport and to bring attention to the psychological outcomes and needs of athletes. The need for research into the incidence and aetiologia of mental illness within elite level sport is also raised.

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