With football season over, millions of fans will go through withdrawal symptoms from not being able to watch the pigskin fly. Dr. Angelos Halaris of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois, says when a person engages in a pleasurable activity, such as watching a football game, a neurotransmitter called dopamine is released in a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. However, when the pleasurable activity ends, the person is left with a feeling of deprivation. It’s similar to what a smoker feels when deprived of a cigarette – except there’s no quick fix like a cigarette for the football fan. Here are Halaris’s suggestions for fans suddenly faced with months without football:
Don’t go cold turkey. Watch football on YouTube, or on recordings, in gradually diminishing amounts.
Share your feelings of withdrawal and letdown with a friend or spouse.
While it can be unpleasant, football withdrawal is not serious
enough to require anti-depressants or other medications, so do not
self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.