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Bipolar and psychotic disorders in elite athletes: a narrative review
  1. Alan Currie1,
  2. Paul Gorczynski2,
  3. Simon M Rice3,4,
  4. Rosemary Purcell3,4,
  5. R Hamish McAllister-Williams5,
  6. Mary E Hitchcock6,
  7. Brian Hainline7,
  8. Claudia L Reardon8
  1. 1 Regional Affective Disorders Service, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2 Sport and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
  3. 3 Research and Translation, Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5 Northern Centre for Mood Disorders, Institute for Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  6. 6 Ebling Library for the Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  7. 7 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  8. 8 Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alan Currie, Regional Affective Disorders Service, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5PL, UK; alan.currie{at}ntw.nhs.uk

Abstract

Bipolar and psychotic disorders are relatively common and likely to have a significant impact on quality of life and functioning which, in the context of elite sport, includes a potential negative impact on sporting performance. For this narrative review article, the literature on bipolar and psychotic disorders in elite athletes was comprehensively searched, and little empirical research was found. A diagnosis of bipolar or psychotic disorders may be challenging in elite athletes because of complicating factors related to the modifying role of exercise and potential precipitating impact of substance use. Medications used to treat bipolar and psychotic disorders may have side effects particularly problematic for elite athletes. Future research should be tailored to the specific characteristics and needs of elite athletes and to the sporting context in which the disorders may arise. Specifically, further research is needed on the prevalence and incidence of these conditions in elite athletes and the impact of both the disorders and their treatments on sporting performance.

  • psychiatry
  • disorder
  • athlete
  • sport
  • elite performance
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Footnotes

  • Contributors AC, PG, SMR, RP, BH, CLR: substantial contribution to conception and design; acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data; drafting the work and revising it critically. MEH: substantial contribution to conception; acquisition and analysis of data; revising the work critically. RHMW: substantial contribution to design; acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data; drafting the work and revising it critically. All authors gave final approval of the version to be published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Competing interests RHMW reports personal fees in the last 3 years from Sunovion, Janssen, My Tomorrows, Lundbeck, Pfizer, LivaNova, Syntropharma, OCM Comunicaziona, American Center for Psychiatry & Neurology (United Arab Emirates), Qatar International Mental Health Conference, British Association for Psychopharmacology, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, UK Medical Research Council, International Society for Affective Disorders and Wiley. He has received non-financial support from COMPASS and grants from research related to psychotropic drugs from the UK National Institute for Health Research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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