March Madness, the obsession with brackets

    With the beginning of the NCAA basketball tournament, an obsession is gripping men and women of all ages.

    With the beginning of the NCAA basketball tournament, an obsession is gripping men and women of all ages. Maiken Scott reports from WHYY’s Behavioral Health desk that the condition is seasonal in nature and short-lived.

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    It’s not called March Madness for nothing – says psychologist Dr. Dan Gottlieb:

    Gottlieb: It is constructive obsessive thinking where those who get involved in it really become obsessive with brackets and numbers and teams….

    Those in the grip of March Madness may experience raw nerves and sweaty palms – and behave out of character. Temple students Steven, Tyler and Odell:

    Steven: It’s a lot of head scratching and hair pulling and nail biting, a lot of yelling, I jump up and down a lot

    Tyler: I get irritable if I get upset I really don’t like to talk to people,

    Odell: It gets to the point where people are just looking at you like – what is going on, who are you right now?

    So, is March Madness reason for concern? Dan Gottlieb:

    Gottlieb: I think it’s fabulous, I just love it – because it’s not high stakes, it’s intensity without high stakes, and that’s a wonderful combination

    In the men’s tournament, the Temple Owls play Cornell Friday, 3/19/10. The Villanova Wildcats play Robert Morris Thursday 3/18/10 .

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