Updated: Mar 30
I am no clinician, but in my personal experiences, depression related to sports can be some of the most difficult of depression to cope with. I say this, and am writing this now, because as an unabashed Green Bay Packers fan..... I know I am going to be either very giddy later today, or potentially down in the dumps if my beloved Packers don't emerge victorious over the San Francisco 49ers. And thus I won't feel like writing this post! The same thing, certainly, holds true if you are reading this and are a fan of the 49ers, or in the AFC, the Titans or Chiefs!
Part of what makes "sports depression" so tough is the finality of it all. Unlike baseball, basketball, and hockey, in which there is usually the "next day" (unless it's a game 7), certain sports, like pro football, are "one and done." Win, you move on. Lose, and you have to deal with defeat until training camp. Going from rooting for your favorite team week after week, month after month... and then, boom! It's all over for another year! That is TOUGH stuff to take!
Here are a few ideas I've found that can help:
* Remember it's still just a game. Not always an easy one, for sure, but it's still true. Can you make your mortgage or rent payment on the 1st? Are you gainfully employed? Do you have your health? Loving kids? I loving spouse? Take any or all of those away, and a crushing loss, or even a joyous win, is put in its proper perspective. Besides, professional athletes make millions win or lose!
* If it's LATE in a given sports season, and your team is still playing, remember how fortunate you are that your team is still alive, when most have cleaned out their lockers for the off season. In the case of the Packers, they did not even make the playoffs in 2017-2018, so their success this year has been a very pleasant surprise.
* If your team loses, it's not so bad if you are down in the dumps for a day or two. If you are extremely depressed long after that, you "may" need psychiatric help. Some additional tips are offered at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-game/201811/combating-depression-and-anxiety-in-sports
I hope your team wins!