In 2002, psychiatrically disabled athletes joined an historic first open game of volleyball at the national sports games for the disabled. Compared to the competitive sports and Paralympic Games that physically and intellectually disabled athletes have participated in, activities for the psychiatrically disabled have not been well-organized. In this paper, we examine a number of problems that have arisen when the psychiatrically disabled joined competitive sports games. We identify two major characteristics of the psychiatrically disabled of particular relevance when organizing competitive sports activities. First, all psychiatrically disabled athletes need treatment of their individual diseases. For example, psychiatric symptoms fluctuate markedly over time, unlike physical or intellectual disabilities, whose symptoms are much more stable. Exacerbations of psychiatric illness are also likely to occur due to the stresses of competitiveness. Second, psychiatric disabilities are manifestations of disorders in the central nervous system, which makes the classification of psychiatric disabilities less straightforward than classification of the physically disabled. These two characteristics require special attention when organizing competitive athletic challenges that include the psychiatrically disabled. However, promoting sports activities that include the psychiatrically disabled would be expected to reduce the prejudice toward and subsequent social disadvantages experienced by psychiatric patients. Thus, with careful planning to successfully integrate psychiatrically disabled athletes, we expect increased promotion of such sports activities in the future.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Seishin shinkeigaku zasshi = Psychiatria et neurologia Japonica|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
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