@naomiosaka dedicated her life to tennis from a young age and, upon reaching a long imagined first grand slam, she was booed in front of a crowd of many thousands. A goal of recognition lost, together with a very public rejection/disapproval
She told of #depression that followed this loss, and of intense #socialanxiety, the latter focused around press appearances and being publicly questionned: an entirely understandable experience. I have met many other top athletes who share this perception of 'doing media'
Social anxiety is a recognised disorder that causes persistent, intense fear or anxiety about specific social situations: distressing thoughts about being judged, embarrassed or humiliated.
In occupational psychology/medicine, it would therefore be a reasonable adjustment to working practice to be excused those responsibilities
Social anxiety is also characterised by avoidance of anxiety-producing social situations (or enduring them with intense fear or anxiety). Naomi's decision not to attend seems consistent with what she has told us about her #mentalhealth being credible and genuine
However, we know that #avoidance, including #experientialavoidance, also perpetuates symptoms and makes dealing with them much harder
What also makes dealing with symptoms (including a fear of others' judgement) much harder is a lack of understanding or awareness from others, such as being labelled 'narcissistic Naomi' by @piersmorgan and all the other self evident #abuse across @Twitter
We know that social media is probably causatively associated with depression, in particular among young females. Many in football recently protested at how little #tech companies do to prevent online abuse and harrassment
Interesting to consider: if an athlete had a physical health condition or injury that made attending/being seated at press conferences difficult (say a fracture?) and they had privately let @rolandgarros know-would they still be fined or treated this way?
#mentalhealth is often not something that is evident unless someone discloses it; athletes often perform (sometimes well) despite at the same time fighting against symptoms of a mental disorder that are private internal experiences
Athletes publicly sharing experiences of #mentalhealth can help chip away at #stigma and myths about it being #weakness or #wokeness EXCEPT where other athletes (and people in general) see that the consequences of doing so are very obviously adverse
#tennis is one of the toughest sports through which to manage #mentalhealth: being away from loved ones all year long; livelihood and income very uncertain; brought to life by @Noahrubin33 in @BehindTRacquet

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More from @DrTimRogers

18 Mar 20
I put together a thread that might help with our #mentalhealth during the #coronavirus #COVID2019 period.
Social distancing prevents infections, but social isolation can significantly increase the risk of other health problems, both physical and mental. What can we do? 1/
Being connected 2 others in a supportive community does more than just help us feel better, it buffers the biological effects of stress hormones/pressure. It's still possible 2 experience the same sense of community and the same mental health benefit digitally @BigWhiteWall1 2/
Take a moment to pause, step back and look after how you’re feeling during such an unprecedented time.  Here are some suggestions:
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