Addressing Mental Health In FPL: “It’s just a game” – or is it?

“It’s just a game guys”, “Calm down mate, it’s just a game”, “It’s a game, get a life”.

These are quotes I’ve read on Twitter over the past week in response to those FPL managers that have spoken out about their Triple Captain Mané failure, who went off injured in the first game against Wolves early on in the highly anticipated double Gameweek 24.

Screenshot 2020-01-31 at 10.15.54

It’s a freak of nature that, having been fully fit for every other game, he would tweak his hamstring in that particular game, that early on. You can’t account for it and without doubt, it’s just down to pure luck it happened at that point.

So, to answer the title question above; yes, it is just a game… if we’re answering literally.

But what a lot of people don’t realise, is that the people who are generally responding with this statement, are most likely people who are in a positive place in their lives.

It’s extremely easy to say to someone, “It’s just a game” when you have plenty of positivity to draw from for yourself. Problem is, that person you’re saying that to, probably doesn’t have that same level of positivity in their life to draw from.

For those people, it becomes more than a game, because for them, it’s a way to survive, a way to gain positive mental energy to combat the difficult challenges they face day to day which, as I’m sure most of you can attest to, can be mentally exasperating.

Of course, we all have our challenges in life, and it’s important to keep things in perspective, but if people are speaking out on Twitter and having a moan about how poor their FPL GW has gone, have you considered that it might not actually be the FPL GW that is causing them the pain?

Could it be:

“Argh, now I don’t have the positivity I need to combat the other difficulties in my life, how am I gonna fight that now?” 

As humans, sub-consciously, we will search for ways to keep ourselves happy, positive. And when we find that thing that makes us happy and masks the pain, we can become addicted to it.

That addiction can come in many forms, alcohol, drugs, sex, masturbation, betting and yes, even FPL.

For a lot of us, it’s a coping mechanism. A way to simply forget the pain of whatever is really hurting us – a positive feeling in the eye of a storm.

So the next time you’re about to say to someone, “It’s just a game”, try asking them instead, “Are you okay? Would you like to talk?” and just see what they come back to you with. I’m betting they will end up talking about more than FPL to you.

And for those of you who are struggling, don’t be afraid to talk.

Find someone you trust, someone you enjoy speaking to, and ask them if they have some time. If they’re truly your friend, they will give it to you. Get everything off your chest.

Then, try to create a positive day to day plan in your lives. Even if it’s as trivial as:

  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Clean my room
  • Don’t eat shit food
  • Get through the work day without frowning
  • Make someone else smile

You’ll find that simply ticking things off a list can be very satisfying and can provide you with a little boost of positivity.

Also, when someone does ask you, “Are you okay?”, don’t shut them out.

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4 thoughts on “Addressing Mental Health In FPL: “It’s just a game” – or is it?

Add yours

  1. A very good article Simon.
    Well done to you for speaking about this important and neglected issue.
    Your tips at the end are simple and clear. Well done to you again.


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