Charlotte Lankard: Being a Thunder fan can lead to PTSD — Post Thunder Stress Disorder

“Thunder pathology” can result in excess anxiety, loss of sleep and nightmares about strangers named Dirk, CP3 and Birdman.
By CHARLOTTE LANKARD, For The Oklahoman Published: June 3, 2014
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Becky Mannel, director of Lactation Services for University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, was never a sports enthusiast — until the Thunder came to town. Due to her newfound interest, three years ago she realized she was suffering from PTSD. Becky’s husband, Dr. Robert Mannel, head of OU’s Stephenson Cancer Center, agrees she is definitely in distress.

PTSD is commonly recognized as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but in this case it stands for “Post Thunder Stress Disorder.” Becky described her “Thunder pathology” to me over dinner last week.

PTSD — Type 1: Post Thunder Sleep Deprivation. The inability to go to sleep after wins, even when it is midnight or 1 a.m. on a weeknight, followed by difficulty staying awake at work the next day.

PTSD — Type 2: Pre-Thunder Stress Disorder. Extreme anxiety, loss of appetite, inability to watch critical moments of the game. Also nightmares about strangers named Dirk, CP3 and Birdman.

CTOD — Chronic Thunder Obsessive Disorder. An ability to recite and understand statistics like Game 7 triple-double. Daily obsession with sports news, even ESPN postgame shows. Changing out of her business suit at DFW airport during the series against Dallas, just so she could put on her Thunder shirt.

Recent manifestations she has observed in herself and others are:

PTSD — Type 2 variant. Inability to watch the entire game until the outcome is known, then watching it from start to finish as soon as it’s over — if they win.