ISSP - International Society for Sports Psychiatry

About ISSP

The ISSP (International Society for Sports Psychiatry) was founded in 1994 to advance the specialty of Sports Psychiatry.  Membership is open internationally to psychiatrists and other clinicians interested in the field.

Some important benefits of membership are inclusion in our referral network, opportunity to communicate and collaborate directly with Sports Psychiatrists, and access to our quarterly newsletter containing original content and select journal articles. 

 Contact us, Media Inquiries


ProjectPlay report highlights challenges and solutions to improve Youth Sports

By David Conant-Norville on May 11th

The Aspen Institute for Sports and Society Program under the leadership of Tom Farrey, in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine and many other sports, civic, governmental, and professional organizations (including the International Society for Sports Psychiatry) have taken on the task of reviewing the state of youth sports in America with the goal of re-inventing and improving the youth sports experience for all.  After a series of roundtable discussions and review of the literature, the organization issued their report
Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game (click link to view the report).  I recommend that all sports psychiatrists and all civic-minded individuals interested in healthy youth development review this document.  The document was presented in Washington DC to an audience of over 350 persons with a stake in improving youth sports.  Attached is a link that will take you to the event page for the summit.  In addition to reviewing the report and supporting data, the website has video links of all of the events that occurred that day. on the site and enjoy the panel discussions, presentations, and the graphic highlights done by graphic artists in real time as the panels were ongoing. 

This project is ongoing.  The next step is organizing groups to make a commitment to develop a project that improves youth sports.  What ideas do sports psychiatrists have?  Should the ISSP take the challenge and create an initiative?  Send in your ideas.  We will post your thoughts and begin this discussion within our community and with other professional and sport groups. Let’s come together and create an initiate for kids that will matter.

Dave Conant-Norville MD

ISSP representative to the Project Play Summit

CHEATING: ISSP Symposium topic for the 2015 APA meeting in Toronto

By David Conant-Norville on February 23rd

This year’s Sports Psychiatry symposium at the APA/CPA joint annual meeting in Toronto is entitled: Cheating, personality disorders and sports psychiatry. The presentation will be at the Toronto Convention Center South, level 700, Room 701B. , Wednesday, May 20 from 2 PM to 5 PM.


This symposium will discuss cheating in sports, from the ancient Olympics to contemporary times. The psychology of winning at any cost to gain fame, Extreme financial incentives, and success, leads athletes to cheat by using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).  Many athletes feel the pressure to cheat to be highly competitive. An athlete may suffer from a personality disorder with narcissism or antisocial traits and be more prone to cheat with PED's. The psychiatrist who is sensitive to individual and team dynamics can recognize, diagnose and treat these issues

Cheating impacts the integrity and ethics in sports and undermines the value of fair play. Recent events in major-league baseball, football cycling and track and field highlight the issue of cheating with performance-enhancing drugs as well as the increasingly sophisticated efforts to enforce the rules.


Five sports psychiatrists, all board members of the International Society for Sports Psychiatry will discuss the role of treatment and prevention at all competitive levels. A historical perspective of cheating in sports will be cited including other forms of cheating the impact of cheating on the athlete, fan, and society will be addressed. The discussants will clarify the role of a psychiatrist to address these challenges for the individual athlete, the team or sporting organization and for society at large, as sports culture often mirrors the larger societal culture.


Presenters include Thomas Newmark MD, Eric Morse MD, Dan Begel MD, Ira Glick MD, and Ian Tofler MD. 

Presentations will include:

  • Psychodynamic diagnoses and treatment of athletes with personality disorders who cheat
  •   Can we treat the cheat?
  •   Psychology of infamous sports scandals in history  
  • Cheating, personality issues, and the role of the sports psychiatrist on the college level
  • Bullying in the NFL

2015 Annual ISSP Scientific Session and Members' Meeting time and place now set

By David Conant-Norville on February 15th

The 2015 Annual ISSP Scientific Session and Members' Meeting will be on Sunday May 17, from 9:00 am to noon at the InterContinental Toronto Center at 225 Front Street West, Toronto, in the Kingsway Room. We invite all ISSP members and interested persons to this event.

Members are invited make a 15 minute scientific presentation to the ISSP membership.  If interested please contact Ira Glick MD, scientific session chair, and submit a brief abstract of your talk. Dr. Glick can be reached at iraglick

We hope you schedule time to attend this one event of the year for all ISSP sports psychiatrist to meet in person.

IOC Consensus Statement on Training the Elite Child Athlete

By David Conant-Norville on October 23rd, 2014

The International Olympic Committee has issued recommendations for training the elete child athletein there resent concensus statement, supported by scientific data and with discussions of special issues, including psychological training challenges that are unique to children training as elite performers.  All sports psychiatrists why treat the child athlete should be familiar with this brief and straight forward document.

To read the complete concensus statement clinc on the link below:

IOC Consensus Statement on Training the Elite Child Athlete.pdf

IOC presents Concensus Statement on RED-S evaluation and return to play guidelines

By David Conant-Norville on October 22nd, 2014

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-s) is a troublesome condition that every sports psychiatrist or sports medicine physician to be familiar with. This condition, formerly referred to as the Female Triad, has been renamed and re-conceptualized after studies indicated that males experience the disorder as well. The primary problem is that the energy input is inadequate to compensate for the energy output and subsequently puts that athlete at significant risk. Associated with restricted nutrition and subsequent metabolic challenges are the associated finding of menstual cycle changes (for females) and osteoporosis. Attached is the entire IOC Consensus statement as published in the British Medical Journal. This article is recommended reading for clinicians who treat female athletes and or male athletes in sports where there may be tremendous outside influence to loose weight.

For the complete article click the link below
bjsports_mountjoy_IOC Consensus RED-S.pdf

Announcing the schedule for the 2014 ISSP Annual Scientific Session and Business Meeting

By David Conant-Norville on January 28th, 2014

The 2014 ISSP Annual Scientific Session and Business Meeting is scheduled for Sunday May 4, 2014 in the Harlem Room, seventh floor of the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel for 9 am to noon.

While attending the 167th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in New York City from May 3-7, 2014, be sure to schedule time to attend this ISSP Annual Event.  No Sports Psychatry Symposium is on the APA program for  this year, so this ISSP meeting is a great opportunity to meet with other sports psychatrists.  We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.


Developing the Healthy Youth Athlete conference in Orlando: February 11-12, 2014

By David Conant-Norville on December 25th, 2013

ISSP is a co-supporting organization for this national conference alongside the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). All sports psychiatrists encouraged to attend and participate.

Please join us at one of the most important recreational sports, play, and physical education conferences of the year: Developing the Healthy Youth Athlete: The Public Health Challenge and Opportunity, February 11-12, 2014, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Conference is an unprecedented opportunity to come together as CHANGEMAKERS, and participate in a national conversation that impacts the lives of the children we serve. It is being co-hosted by the American College of Sports Medicine, Disney/ESPN, the National Council of Youth Sports, the National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute, and Sport & Society, a program of the Aspen Institute. The Developing the Healthy Youth Athlete conference will address: 

• Placing children and their health at the center of our programs and practices; • Unleashing the collective energies of youth sports, physical education, and sports to show the power of physical activity as a public health investment; • Creating a bridge between research and action to celebrate and share best practices; • Exploring what we are doing to engage the marginalized child and showing that sports and physical activity are not only for the most athletic, but are fun, friend-building, and healthy activities; and, • Identifying feedback mechanisms, and measurement and evaluation processes needed to communicate the value of our programs and the co-benefits of physical activity to parents, coaches, policy-makers, and decision-makers. 

The good news: sports participation rates are increasing. The bad news: More than one-third of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese; 60% are not meeting recommended physical activity guidelines; and the number of kids suffering from chronic diseases like asthma, heart problems, diabetes, and behavior and learning problems, has more than doubled from 12.8 percent in 1994 to more than 25 percent today. Brain science tells us that we have a window of opportunity to create healthier generations by investing in children before the age of 10. These issues are now being discussed as part of global and national health strategies by governments, national and international civil society organizations, and UN agencies involved with children’s health, development, education, and social protection. We have a public health grand opportunity to position sports, physical activity, and recreational play as THE cross-societal investment opportunity that grows human potential and physical, emotional, mental, and social health. 

Lend your voice, share your strengths, and be a champion in shaping our children’s futures by attending the Developing the Healthy Youth Athlete conference. To register, please visit:

"Well Played" video on ADHD in youth sports available to all

By David Conant-Norville on December 15th, 2013

The Global Center for Exercise, Psychiatry and Sport at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine has produced a new video depicting the challenges of suffering with ADHD as a young child participating in youth sports. This quality dramatic production is made available to all as an educational tool for young athletes, their families, and coaches. This video may not be used for commercial purposes without written release from the Executive Producer Dr. David Baron M.S. Ed., D.O. Access to this video can be obtained by clicking the following link www. The password is WP (case-sensitive capitalized letters). The producers hope that you enjoy the video and share is with others.

"Next Week's Game", a video about concussion in youth athlete

By David Conant-Norville on October 30th, 2013

ISSP presents an 8 minute film on concussion in the young athlete entitled "Next Week's Game".  This video is made available to the ISSP website by executive producer and ISSPs board member, David Baron, MSEd, DO, DFAPA
(Asst. Dean, International Relations, Keck School of Medicine at USC, Professor and Vice Chair, Dept. of Psychiatry, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Keck Medical Center at USC
Director, Global Center for Exercise, Psychiatry and Sports at USC)                    


To view this dramatic video click on the link below and enjoy.
This video is intended for teaching purposes only and is not intended as a commercial product. Please use this video to teach about effects of concussion.

The German Perspective: Sport Specificity of Mental Disorders in Athletes

By David Conant-Norville on October 7th, 2013


Dr. Karl-Jürgen Bär

                     Dr. Valentin Markser

Dr. Karl-Jürgen Bär and Dr. Valentin Markser
discuss the challenges in truly understanding the types of psychiatric disorders and stressors experienced by elite athletes. Drs. Bär and Markser discuss the challenges faced by the specialty of sports psychiatry and suggest directions for future research in there article
Sport Specificity of Mental Disorders: Issues for Sports Psychiatry

The prevalence of psychiatric conditions
among elite athletes is still under debate. More and more
evidence has accumulated that high-performance athletes
are not protected from mental disorders as previously
thought. The authors discuss the issue of the sport specificity of selected mental diseases in elite athletes. Specific aspects of eating disorders, exercise addiction, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and mood disorders in the context of overtraining syndrome are examined. In particular, the interrelationship between life and work characteristics
unique to elite athletes and the development of mental
disorders are reviewed. Differences of clinical presentation
and some therapeutic consequences are discussed. The
authors suggest that the physical and mental strains
endured by elite athletes might influence the onset and
severity of their psychiatric disorder. Beside the existing
research strategies dealing with the amount of exercise, its
intensity and lack of recreation experienced by athletes,
further research on psycho-social factors is needed to better
understand the sport-specific aetiology of mental disorders
in high-performance athletes.
Keywords Sport psychiatry Elite athlete High
performance Mental disorder Psychiatric care

Read the entire article by clicking on the link below.

2013 Bar Markser sport specificity of mental disorders.pdf


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International Society for Sports Psychiatry

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