Watching Your Team Lose Can Hurt Your Health
For some sports fans, the ‘agony of defeat’ is more than mental.
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Don't Miss This
Sign Up for OurDr. Sanjay Gupta's Health MattersNewsletter
Thanks for signing up!You might also like these other newsletters:
Ryan Arledge is a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan. He named his dog after the former quarterback and got married in the team colors.
When the Browns are doing badly, Ryan doesn’t feel well.
“The worst feeling in the world is when they play really bad,” he said. After replaying the game in his head and listening to the post-game analysis on the radio, “my head’s just pounding.”
According to Ken Yeager, a social worker who specializes in psychological trauma, die-hard fans like Arledge become so emotionally invested in their team, they can have a physical response when the team does badly.
Yeager is clinical director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.
“The clues go all the way back to the fight-or-flight survival mechanism,” Yeager said. Testosterone levels will drop if the team does badly, and stress hormones like cortisol will go up.
RELATED: 8 Health Benefits and Risks of Sports Superfandom
“If you feel your heart begin to palpitate, you begin to sweat a little bit, you feel your breaths are shallow and racing, you’re getting a little too far into the game and a little too far away from the pleasure,” he said.
Yeager has some concrete advice for people who want to enjoy the game without becoming physically ill:
Video: Why You Shouldn’t Fear Death
How to Diagnose Bloat in Great Danes
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport
50 Traditional Arrow Tattoo Designs For Men – Archery Ideas
How To Do The Salamba Sirsasana And What Are Its Benefits
Kevin Bacon says he never leaves home without 200 cash in his pocket
Grandmas Poppy Seed Cake
5 Ways to Prepare For a Facial
Etch yourself out a new place
My MS Drug Decision Part III: Whats Next
How to Clean Hiking Boots
Chicken and Potato Salad with Arugula
How to choose a men’s wedding band