A Deeper Look into PSAD

23 Aug

I know you have heard of those living in Nordic Countries suffering from Seasonal Effective Disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder). It is a real phenomena that has a negative impact on many lives in the Great White North.  The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” The condition in the summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.

I believe that I have uncovered a new syndrome that I will call Pre-Season Effective Disorder (PSAD). This frightening disease effects only Certified Athletic trainers and only during the month of August.The disease is due to the lunacy that is 2-a-days, 3-a-days and, dare I say, 4-a-days.  It is associated with high frustration levels at the lack of physical preparation by high school athletes knowing they are about to participate in a high school sport and still lay around all summer.  The disorder is also associated with 70 hour work weeks without time to eat or even visit the bathroom.  Due to the lack of sleep, quality food and any semblance of order to a time schedule, the ATs will suffer from wild mood swings during the period known as Pre-season.

Symptoms of PSAD include dreaming about “going postal” on coaches and players, difficulty in getting to sleep and in waking up, tendency to oversleep and over eat when given the chance especially a craving for carbohydrates which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure.

The only known cure is to let PSAD run its course which normally takes 2 weeks.  During the normal course of the syndrome it is common for ATs to contemplate a different job including bagging groceries or managing a fast food restaurant.  But once the PSAD is over, these feelings usually subside and the AT once again enjoys the life of an AT.

I hope you had a fun pre-season this year!

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