#874 Are you depressed because of a running injury? - DOC

#874 Are you depressed because of a running injury?

Are you depressed because of your running injury? Well, maybe you are, maybe you are not. I am not a psychiatrist. I am not a psychologist, but that is what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.



Today, I  had a call with a runner who called me for a series of consultation calls where we talked every week and at the end of the series where he is improving and getting better, he  disclosed to me that he felt like he was depressed.

Again, I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist or anything like that. I am a podiatrist. I treat foot and ankle injuries in runners. I don’t treat depression. However, he said that he thought he had depression because he realized that something had significantly changed in his goal. And he said, I can’t even imagine myself doing races anymore.

You have to realize that of course, if you are a runner, if you are really active, you do lots of fun active things outside and then you are sitting still and you cannot do anything and you are looking at all your friends doing them on social media. Well, it is demoralizing. Not running is a bummer, particularly if you are a runner.

The first time I really saw this in a very striking example was a woman who  was a multi time age group triathlete, world champion, and she said, I am depressed, and she was told by two different reputable physicians that she would never run again. Well, that would be depressing if you are a world champion to be told you are never going to run again.

I think you have to realize that one of the things that why I am talking about this and why I think it is really important is that your psychology is  attached to your physiology. And if you understand and appreciate that you are going to get better, you are more likely to do all the things that will help you get better, not psychologically, but physiologically, and you cannot really extract the two you, cannot separate them.

So, I think it is super important that you realize when you are injured, there is always a way to get better. You just have to find a way and if you are not getting better, you haven’t found it yet. That is all that means. It does not mean you are not going to get better. It only means you are not going to get better when you give up. So, you cannot stop looking for the solution for you just because one doctor or maybe even two told you, you shouldn’t be running anymore. If they told you, you shouldn’t be running, maybe you should be looking for a different doctor.

But you’ve got to realize that if you feel depressed, and you are bummed out, then maybe you are and maybe you should talk to a sports psychologist, or you can talk to somebody who can  help you with that specific problem. But you have got to realize that it is a possibility if you are super bummed out, and you really want to get back to running, it seems only natural for a runner to want to run.

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