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Helping Gymnasts With Anxiety, Depression, and Mental Health Struggles ft. Dr. Marcia Faustin, MD

Today I believe we have one of the most important podcasts produced by Shift, a discussion with Dr. Marcia Faustin about athletes’ mental health. 


⚠️ Trigger Warning ⚠️

In this episode, we discuss heavy content around depression, anxiety, body image, fear of failure, and suicide. If you are someone listening to this podcast but have a history of these things, I encourage you to either stop and listen to it with a professional who can guide you through it, or to listen to it in segments or don’t be afraid to not listen to it at all. 


A former gymnast, Dr. Marcia is a family medicine and sports medicine physician working at the University of California Davis in Sacramento where she is the associate team physician for 700 UC Davis Division One athletes.

She is also the USA Gymnastics women’s national team physician and was at Tokyo Olympics giving Simone Biles care and support in her time of need.

Despite lots of progress, mental health in gymnastics is still stigmatized, which leaves a lot of athletes feeling as though they’re the only ones dealing with anxiety, depression, or other dark thoughts.

This episode is to help show athletes that they’re not alone, not only is it normal but it’s something that can get better.

We discuss:

  • What’s causing the mental health stigma?
  • Why Mental health issues should be treated just like injuries.
  • The difference between empathy and sympathy. 
  • One of the best tools for Anxiety.
  • The way you react to your athlete’s performance matters.
  • How to be a better listener.
  • What to do if an athlete starts to have negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Why a simple conversation can help save a life.


The role fans play in gymnastics and their responsibility on the athlete’s mental health.

Helping Gymnasts With Anxiety, Depression, and Mental Health Struggles ft. Dr. Marcia Faustin, MD


If you want to learn more you can listen to Dr. Marcia’s popular and highly requested lecture on mental health at the Shift Symposium:

Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science