Injury and the effects on mental health



  • Sam, sympathies. Healing doesn't always go as expected. However, once the bone is healed, it is healed and you should be running again quite soon afterwards (based on my experience with a fractured ankle and then a stress-fractured pelvis.

    Well done on starting the piano and on your swimming etc. - but I do know how frustrating it is not being able to run!

    TT: sympathies again and good luck for continued progress.

  • Hi Debra - thank you - I can't imagine how you have got through a fractured ankle and a pelvis - how long were you out?
  • Hi Guys

    Just to add to this and trying to keep things as brief as possible...

    At 22 in 2004 I tore my ACL in a football match
    After several surgeries I quit football and joined a running club.
    Had a great time between 2009 and 2014 with my club, did all distances from 100m to HM - Travelled the country doing the BUPA 10k races - Not an elite but regular times under 40 Minutes.

    Since 2014 My meniscus in my knee is starting to degenerate (due to my original injury) and after 2 more surgeries in the last 18 months - I've retired from the sport and my club as of last week.

    At 35 - it's kinda hard to process that I wont run again - Yes I learnt to swim last year , I go the gym and I'm doing a long walk on a Sunday to try and retain some sort of fitness - but its not as fun as training with my club and turning up for a parkrun or a road race.

    But as some of you will already know - It's just a very difficult process to go through - At the moment it just feels strange if i'm honest...
    Mentally, I keep thinking back to the game I got the injury... Wondering if the person who I challenged caused my injury on purpose (I'll never know for sure and its a futile exercise I guess).

    I know there are people worse off than me - It just sometimes gets me down that 1 game of football has turned my life upside down and caused so much chaos in the last 14 years of my life .... With more trouble and potential knee replacement some years down the line ... Its not the future I expected when I was younger.
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hi xink, I am so sorry, I can understand totally that you are feeling it is all difficult to process. I too have reflected back and wondered how I could have avoided injury, but I can now look forward. A friend of mine, who was told in her early twenties she would never run again advised me to do two things; make a list of everything you can do (I still feel total joy at being able to pick things up off the floor) and seek counselling. 

    After 21 weeks I cheered when I managed 8 mins running in 34. A long way from qualifying for Boston but hopefully overtime I will get back! 

    This forum has been a good support and we are here for you. 
  • This thread is so useful, without doubt the negative impact injury has on your mental health is the most difficult aspect to manage

    I'm going through injury problems at the moment -  don't know if it might help anyone but i tried to put into  words the sense of emptiness this created.
  • samsunguser, apologies for delayed reply. With the broken ankle I did my first jog (20 paces, three times, barefoot on short grass, so as gentle as possible) 12 weeks after surgery (I had the broken fibula plated as it was broken right at the joint) - and less than 4 weeks after I first walked without boot or crutches. With the stress-fractured pelvis (secondary to the ankle) I did my first 5-minute jog (again, barefoot on grass) at just under 8 weeks (was told I could run at 6.5 weeks but decided to give it a little longer). (Much shorter times than after I tore my posterior tibial tendon in autumn 2013 - that was nearly six months).

    With the pelvis, I'm convinced the key to my recovery was that I RESTED IT - a week on crutches initially and then minimised even walking for the first five weeks. Swam arms-only (used a pull buoy to support my legs) and didn't try to cycle. All the reports I read online where people had tried to cross-train with their stress-fractured pelvis were also the ones where people were still having problems months down the line. While I'm back to running ultras and completed a 10-marathons-in-10-days challenge a couple of months ago.

  • Introducing running into my life was the best thing I done for my mind. It really proves that there is merit to the fact that movement of the body is vital for mental wellbeing. Though, it can have the opposite effect if it becomes excessive and an obsession. Luckily, I haven’t experienced any serious injuries since I’d been running, but I have had a few times where I’ve gotten sick with the flu or just for other circumstantial reasons that didn’t give me the freedom to run.... And that was a nightmare. The longer you go without running, the more difficult and stressful it is to get back into it. A quote that’s always stuck with me “An object in motion stays in motion; an object at rest stays at rest.” - This always reminds me to never fall off the wagon for too long!! 
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hi all, good news. Seen the consultant and I can now start on couch to 5km! Need to be very careful, run on a treadmill or grass for the majority of runs, for the next few months but I will be able to get back. So, so pleased, it has been a very long journey, which is not finished but I wanted to say thank you. This forum has been very supportive and understanding, I hope I can be the same in return, but hopefully will never have to. 
  • TT, that's great news! Here's to a smooth return to running.
  • kmo86kmo86 ✭✭✭
    Interesting thread not read it all but interesting to read people seeing running as way through depression. The man who has helped me get into running has had depression and fitness helped him through it. I e only known him about a year so never knew him with depression but can’t imagine him with it. He’s got a 10k and 2 marathons planned next month I’m doing the 10k with him and he’s hurt his leg so depending how fast it recovers he could end up missing some or all of them. At minute he’s expecting and hoping to be ok for them but have to see what happens. Hopefully he will be ok as hes encouraged me to doing the 10k so will not be as good if he isn’t able to do it after all help he’s given me.
  • Hi - just wanted to update my journey - I broke my toe just before Xmas (3months ago today) and you will see from my initial posts how depressed I was and then midway through how I kind of accepted it and channelled my energies to starting to learn the piano...which i'm still doing and progressing and enjoying!!  Anyway.....I felt the fear and went out for a walk/jog today and covered 3 miles...slight discomfort but nothing major, but blimey my quads knew they had rested for few months....just wanted to share and I will keep an eye on it and see how it feels after rest and keep being sensible is the key.  TT I read your post and it's great news that you are recovering and back out there....well done.  Anybody who reads these posts for the first time - they helped me when I first got injured and I think we all go through the same emotions as runners when other people don't understand totally and it's good to share with like-minded people.  I will post again in a week with progress....fingers crossed or should I say toes crossed. take care.x
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