KUALA LUMPUR: Much like other sports, e-sports athletes with professional and elite status need to consider applying sports medicine to ensure more stable performance and career development.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) psychiatrist and medical lecturer Dr Zul Azlin Razali said e-sports athletes should always apply adaptive stress management, which is to adapt to problems and solve them normally.

He said athletes also need to focus on the main goal of becoming professional athletes so as to avoid mental health-related problems.

“When an athlete has serious goals, they are mature enough to manage training time, nutrition, adequate sleep, do physical exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle to take care of themselves.

“These measures help reduce stress, as does cardio exercise as it also helps athletes to be more focused,” he said at the Sports Medicine Applications in e-sports webinar broadcast live on the National Sports Institute’s Facebook today.

Dr Zul Azlin said athletes also need to be patient in following the process of self-performance development and not strain themselves too much by trying to take drugs as a stimulus or energy booster to undergo extra training time.

He recommended athletes consult psychiatrists and psychologists if faced with extreme stress, adding that they should not feel ashamed in seeking help.

“There are still many (negative) perceptions of seeing a psychiatrist such as being labelled crazy and (we feel) ashamed, so we need to remove the stigma because it is quite harmful,“ he explained.

Dr Zul Azlin said the four most common problems faced by e-sports athletes were gaming disorder, anxiety, depression and burnout leading to drug abuse. - Bernama