Ask NBA Star Kevin Love: “Success Does Not Make You Immune to Depression”
Kevin Love, an NBA star player who teamed with Lebron James with much success, has revealed his struggles with anxiety and depression. A recent video on the ESPN App is a courageous inspiration to everyone who struggles with whether to get help or not (https://es.pn/2walT5Q via @ESPN App http://es/pn/app ).
Some of Love’s key points include:
- Compared to physical injuries, “anxiety or depression is a lot different since people can’t see it.”
- “Everybody is going through something. Success does not make you immune to depression.”
- Experiencing anxiety and depression for “a long time”, his first panic attack was during a game on November 5 last fall.
- “I’ve always had anxiety. In trying to sleep, I would dig up the worst things that happened in the last 10 years.”
- In going public, he is “trying to change the stigma” about mental health issues, “not only for people in sports, but all over.”
- “If I can help one kid, it will be absolutely life changing for that kid.”
- His “playbook when young was to suppress it, to be a man.” This was “ingrained at an early age”, which he now knows is “misleading.”
- Asking for help has given him “freedom of mind”, “given me peace”. “Coming forward” is the “best thing I did.”
Love’s public statements have been preceded by other public figures in recent years. One of the groundbreakers for this public testimony was William Saroyan, an author of numerous books, as well as writer for the New York Times. He authored in 1992, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. It’s a personal testimony well worth reading, especially for those who deal with depression in their lives or in the lives of family members.
Given all the press coverage about suicide of late, including the deaths of public figures like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, the need for intervention is all the more clear. Depression, untreated or inadequately treated, is the forerunner to suicide of course. All the more tragic since help is often available.
Dr. Alan M. Solomon is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Torrance, CA. A member of the Independent Psychotherapy Network, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310 539-2772.
Copyright 2018 by Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.