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Tips Offered To Survive NFL Withdrawal

MAYWOOD, Ill., Feb. 12 (UPI) — With football season over, millions of fans will go through withdrawal symptoms from not being able to watch the pigskin fly, a U.S. psychiatrist says.

Dr. Angelos Halaris of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., says when a person engages in a pleasurable activity, such as watching a football game, a neurotransmitter — brain chemical — 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, Halaris explained.

“When the football season is over and there’s no other game on the schedule for months, you’re stuck, so you go through withdrawal,” Halaris said in a statement.

For hardcore fans, the feeling can be similar to post-holiday blues, Halaris says.

Here are Halaris’ 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, therefore, do not self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.


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