Is it healthy to feel depressed about the Brewers’ loss?

My husband woke this morning grumpy and ornery. At the office, co-workers are noticeably quiet and subdued, as if their grandmother was ill.

The Brewers lost!

Some fans will be emotionally down for days afterwards, don’t want to talk to anyone, and certainly don’t want to see any sports scores or highlights or other reminders of the team’s failure. Their failure was our failure.

Leading social psychologist Robert Cialdini has noted that “winning and losing teams influence the morale of a region, a city, or a college campus. A substantial segment of the community may actually have clinical features of depression when their team loses. People become ‘blue’ for several days, disoriented, and non-productive, whereas if they win, they are pumped up and active. In many cities, an atmosphere of depression and failure prevails after the loss of a significant game. The fans were counting on their team to delivery a victory-to make their day-and instead they feel personally let down.”

The life of a sports fan is a strapped-in roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs. Sports can generate such a high rush of adrenalin, especially when your favorite team is playing a long awaited game. When your team wins, you’re filled with elation and confidence. When your team loses, you feel deflated and let down. The emotional highs and lows are magnified in two particular situations: when your team faces a hated rival or when your team is playing on the big stage with a championship on the line, like the Milwaukee Brewers last weekend.

In any sport, only two teams can participate in that sport’s championship game. Those two teams have a lot to be proud of. Out of all of the teams in the league, they are the two who were good enough to vie for the coveted title. It stands to reason that, win or lose, both teams should feel good about their accomplishments.

But reason has nothing to do with the sadness fans feel when their team loses. And that sadness is strangely magnified after a championship game loss.

Depression is a serious condition that often requires a doctor’s treatment. Yet, many people use this to describe how they feel after the Milwaukee Brewers lost Sunday’s game. More times than not, those who say they feel depressed after a team loss are actually simply experiencing a depressing situation – and the cloud will lift in a day or two.

If you continue to experience feelings of depression for several weeks, you may need to seek the help of a trained therapist. If you or someone you know may be suffering from depression use our free, confidential, online depression screening tool.

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options in a caring, confidential environment.  If you find you may be struggling with stress that is causing significant physical or emotional impairment in your lifecontact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

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