Fan or Fanatic?

Sports addiction is no joke

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Feel like your significant other is spending more time watching football or messing around with their fantasy team? They might have a sports addiction – it’s real and can be cured.

Football season has come and thus returns your spouse’s crazy irrational behaviors. Are these behaviors ruining relationship? Experts might be able to help you solve their addiction and save your relationship.

"Get off the computer and hang out with your spouse."

Josh Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says a sports addiction is like any other addiction.

It’s not the amount of time you spend watching sports, it’s whether or not these sports are affecting your relationships and causing negative behaviors, Klapow says.

Some tell tale signs for a sports obsession include a person who thinks of football while doing other things, being irritated if a game is interrupted, missing family or other important events to watch a game, become depressed, angry or violent when a team loses, has a loosening grip on reality and has too much adoration for a game.

If you recognize these symptoms, let your loved one know, Klapow says. The first thing addicts need to do is own up to their problem, he adds.

Ultimately, it’s like any other bad habit – it needs to be changed, Klapow comments.

Here are some tips to help you cure sports addiction in your loved one:

  • Keep track of how much time is spent watching, listening or playing online sports
  • Set limits on the amount of time watching sporting events
  • Stop skipping family gatherings, birthdays or anniversaries for sporting events
  • Instead of watching sports try something else like exercise or just hanging out with loved ones

Most importantly, seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you resolve your problems.

Jim Crowell, fitness expert, says, "While I'm not a counselor I have seen many kids and adults get addicted to fitness and athletics. Everybody is different but I do believe that it can be an addiction, but I don't necessarily view sport or fitness as being a bad addiction as long as the person is being healthy and responsible."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 16, 2011
Last Updated:
September 18, 2011