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Pole Dance Doubles - Amalia Mia Lang Und Kayla Lee Burch - World Champions

GOLD MEDALS DOESN`T EQUAL HAPPINESS! -Mental Health in Sport and PerformingArts


It's a dream life..

Looking from the outside, it's easy to admire athletes and artists. They appear graceful, powerful, and often have a gold medal or other accolade around their necks. It's easy to assume they have a dream life, working in their passion, achieving and mastering things that most people can only dream of.

But what is on the other side of that "GOLDEN MEDAL"? Physically, athletes and artists are undoubtedly strong, but what about mentally?


Out of the comfort zone - mental health in sports

This blog post is about mental health awareness for athletes and artists. Why write about this topic? Because it's an issue that I have experienced firsthand.


Too much pressure....

I remember my last competition in 2021 vividly. Despite putting a lot of pressure on myself (I don't have a coach, so I am both athlete and coach), there was even worse pressure from the outside. Once you're at the top, people expect you to continue to do well. They expect you to win and perform at your highest level. They don't seem to understand why you might have doubts, be nervous, or be scared.


When I spoke out about my anxiety leading up to that competition, I heard things like:


"Common, you're going to win anyway!"

"Don't worry, you'll win!"

"I better see you with that gold medal!"

"Ah, come on, don't be like that. You're the best!"

"You always do well anyway!"

"Ah, it's easy for you...why shouldn't you succeed?"



For some people, this might be motivating, but for someone like me who has been dealing with mental health problems for a while, these statements can be triggering. What these statements did to me was make me feel like I wasn't allowed to fail, that I wasn't allowed to lose or not be on the podium. The expectations for me were high, and the pressure was on. Hearing these phrases added to the pressure I already put on myself.


Every time I heard those phrases, I got a bad stomach ache, my head throbbed, and my anxiety rose. I didn't want to compete. I got bad anxiety and my depression rose.

But with that pressure, I started training like a maniac. I did over 46 run-throughs in less than six months of preparation. I wanted to live up to what people were expecting from me. This didn't help my mental health; it made it worse.


They gotta be strong....

These are just small examples of the kind of pressure that athletes and artists face. As an athlete or artist, you are expected to always be at the top of your game. There is no room for failure, bad days, gaining weight, losing flexibility, or lacking in any way. We need to address mental health problems in sports and performing arts more often.

And, most importantly, we cannot forget that athletes and artists are human, and they also have a life outside of their sport. They deal with the same problems as non-athletes do, such as jobs, relationships, finances, friendships, and so on.


GOLD MEDAL DOESN´T EQUAL HAPPINESS

With that being said, winning a gold medal or any other competition does not guarantee mental health or happiness. Often, those who shine the brightest have the biggest shadows following them.


If you are interested in learning more about my personal life, I would be happy to write about it. Please let me know in the comments section below.

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