Many of us may laugh at the idea of having a sports addiction, but for some it’s a sad reality. When sports becomes the biggest priority in your life, it will consume your time, deplete your money, and ruin relationships.
Most of us have a favorite team or hometown hero that we root for during their respective seasons. Professional sports logos and pop culture references are everywhere, inundating our news on a daily basis. There are even several news stations devoted specifically to sports coverage.
You likely have at least one friend or family member that is the self-proclaimed “biggest fan” of a sports team. Liking sports or having season tickets are relatively normal actions and could hardly be considered part of an addiction. However, like with most things in life, this is only considered normal if there’s healthy moderation.
If you’re feeling like you’re spending more time focused on sports, then it might be time to start asking questions. How much does a sports team’s success or failure affect your life? Are you sacrificing important priorities and needs in order to watch your favorite sports and teams?
If you’re asking yourself whether you need sports addiction therapy, it’s likely that you’re struggling with an issue. Let’s examine the aspects of this very real addiction.
When someone has a sports addiction to a particular team’s success, they can spend every moment they have focused on sports. Whether it’s watching games, studying players’ statistics, or looking for rare memorabilia, they let themselves get lost in their sports.
An addiction to sports can be recognized when a loved one’s emotions depend on the success or failure of athletes that they have never met. It’s possible that sports addicts may break plans and stay home for days at a time without sleep.
If their team loses, they may reflect depressive tendencies. If their favorite team doesn’t make the playoffs, they may go hide in their homes for weeks.
Although these situations sound dramatic and unlikely, it’s the reality for those struggling with this addiction. When someone is addicted to something, it becomes the center of their universe.
This can be multidimensional when it comes to the need for sports addiction therapy. Spending all of your time at home can be harmful for romantic relationships or close friendships.
Someone with a sports addiction may even break off a relationship because of team preferences. It’s completely plausible that they might end things if their team of choice loses to their partner’s team of choice.
While many of us love sports and competition, it isn’t healthy to allow it to affect our friendships and family relationships. If you base your friendships off of sports, it’s hard to build a real relationship outside of it.
What Are the Odds of Losing Money?
Unfortunately, gambling goes hand-in-hand with many individuals’ sports addictions. Gambling is an addiction in itself that can be disguised as a fan just trying to support their team.
Although gambling can exist outside of sports addiction, it’s a huge financial burden and addition to sports addiction. Someone struggling to pay bills might still buy expensive memorabilia or attend a large number of games in a season.
Sometimes their gambling will begin as a way to earn back the money they’ve poured into their sports addiction. Other times their gambling feeds into their preoccupation with their favorite team and their desire to win. All of these factors usually tie directly into the feelings of depression that occur when things don’t go as anticipated.
It can be hard to tell a friend or loved one how to spend their money or that they’ve been irresponsible with it. However, if their habits are threatening their quality of life and overall stability, sports addiction therapy should be an option that’s discussed.
It’s true that an addiction to sports may seem silly to those of us that don’t have that problem. Unfortunately, it can be very real for a loved one and can cause them to spiral into other unhealthy habits. However, as with many other addictions, there is usually some form of addiction counseling that can target the root issues.
Am I Addicted to Sports?
If you find that you’re struggling with an addiction to sports, there are steps you can take to mitigate the problem. Although there’s no replacement for professional sports addiction therapy or counseling for addiction, there are steps to help you along the way.
For example, it might be helpful to take a log of all the time you spend watching sports or listening online. Try limiting your exposure and gauge your mental and emotional response. Consult close friends and family and ask them their honest feelings about your connection to sports.
Most of the time, your loved ones may have noticed addictive behaviors before you did. More than anything, do not be afraid to seek professional sports addiction therapy or counseling for addiction.