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To Olympians and to whom it may concern

Let us prevent PBSR (Post Big-event Stress Reaction)!

There is a psychological reaction that the top athletes, especially the medalists or the staffs who worked as hard as possible, experience after the big game like the Olympics. I call it “PBSR (Post Big-event Stress Reaction). PBSR make the athletes enervated and feel uncertain as if they are in the long tunnel. Not only top athletes but also artists, researchers, engineers, and executives of active organizations may experience this reaction. Many of the top athletes and staffs could possibly suffer from PBSR after the Olympic games Tokyo 2020, since this is taken place under terrible stress. 

PBSR is different from the simple slump or depressive state. But it may continue six months or more and could be so hard to get out of it. Let us prevent Olympians from this harsh PBSR. 

PBSR syndrome

PBSR is not an illness but a temporary psychological reaction. It causes no problem in daily life but the apathy in specialty training and exercise.

Main symptoms: apathy, tiredness, lack of interest in daily activities, anorexia, sleeping problem, depression of libido, obsessive-compulsive tendency, irritation, carelessness, self-hatred, lack of confidence, misanthropy, light paranoia.

Personal Coping

Basic self-coping

Step 1 Take adequate rest for two weeks: adequate rest means keeping away from all the professional activities. Those activities of traveling, tramping, art appreciation, gardening, field labor, ranch work, Zen sitting medication, pilgrimage, and Japanese traditional martial arts are helpful to recover mindfulness.

If you felt you came out of the tunnel through step1, then go to the step 2.

Step 2 Undergo rehabilitation for two weeks: plan self-coaching procedure and carry it out to get back to the ordinary specialty training exercise in two weeks.

If the self-coping did not work well, ask for professional help.

Professional help 

Psychodynamic consultation    

Tell whatever you experienced before/during/after the Olympic game/event, and what you are experiencing right now to the psychodynamic consultant. The consultant will help you to successfully carry out your self-coaching to get out of PBSR. Moreover, executive coaching will help you to ensure the resources you got through the Olympic game experience and enhance creative mental ability.

Psychodynamic individual therapy and group therapy would also be further help.

Hidefumi Kotani, Ph.D.

Specialty: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Executive Coaching
President, Institute of Psychoanalytic Systems Psychotherapy
President, International Association of Dynamic Psychotherapy    

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