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Ted Lasso Season 2: Why Ted’s Panic Attacks Return

Content warning: This article contains references to panic attacks and mental health as depicted in Ted Lasso season 2, episode 6, as well as spoilers for the same episode.

Ted’s panic attacks return in Ted Lasso season 2, episode 6, forcing him off the pitch during a pivotal moment of a match. The experience ultimately pushes Ted to acknowledge that he needs help, and he sets up an appointment with team psychiatrist Dr. Sharon Fieldstone in the final scene. But why does Ted have a panic attack at the end of the match against the Tottenham Hotspurs?

Panic attacks can have a variety of triggers, and in some cases, they may have no discernable triggers at all. Stress, change and trauma can all contribute to the prevalence of panic attacks in a person’s life, as can physical influences like caffeine and alcohol. In Ted Lasso season 1, Ted has what appears to be his first panic attack at a karaoke bar with the AFC Richmond team, on the night he signs his divorce papers for Michelle.

Related: What Happened To Ted Lasso's Dad? Biggest Theories Explained

Ted’s season 1 panic attack is triggered in the moment by sensory overload, but the root cause seems to be the stress and emotional weight of his divorce sinking in. Those are the same triggers present in Ted Lasso season 2, episode 6. Earlier in the episode, Ted gets a call from his son’s teacher – an unexpected flashback to his former life that likely brought a lot of powerful and distressing emotions back to the surface. Then, at the end of the match against Tottenham, the stress of the moment begins to overload him. The tied game, immense pressure, resurfaced grief, and sensory overload of the stadium likely all build up to his panic attack. The fact that he is a regular coffee drinker and someone who often uses alcohol to cope with stress may also be a contributing factor.

Fortunately, it looks like Ted is taking a major step forward by seeking help from Dr. Fieldstone's expertise in sports psychology. At the end of the episode, she finds him curled up on the couch in her office, in the dark, possibly waiting for her. He says he wants to make an appointment, breaking through some of his preconceived prejudices against mental health professionals. Ted may have gone to the office just to find a quiet place to work through his anxiety, but it’s also possible that he waited for Sharon because he feared that if he left, he wouldn’t seek her help.

The nuance and complexity of Ted’s inner psyche is a big part of what’s made Ted Lasso such a compelling show to watch. The series is a reminder that everyone – even those who appear optimistic and joyous on the outside – can benefit from vulnerability, mental healthcare, and asking for help. Ted takes a big step by going to Dr. Sharon, and it should be interesting to see how his arc of self-actualization continues to develop through Ted Lasso season 2.

Next: Ted Lasso Season 2 Backlash Explained: Why Some Fans Have Turned On The Show

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