The Pains of Fandom

Politics, Like Sports, Can Lead to Depression

Just wait till there’s a pill for this. Mental health experts say devout supporters of a particular political candidate can experience the same feelings of loss and even depression as dedicated sports fans when their team does poorly. “Political parties might be a better comparison, since it can be a longer involvement,” suggests an associate professor of sports management and media at Ithaca College. “The emotional connections to sports teams are often lifetime relationships. I do think it isn’t just chance that so many campaigns use language from sports in discussing the political arena.”