June 19, 2018

Kevin Love Candidly Details Mental Health Issues, Recent Panic Attack

08 March 2018, 01:43 | Franklin Nunez

'Came out of nowhere': Kevin Love reveals battle with panic attacks, opens up about mental health

Kevin Love felt a pain in his stomach and shortness of breath before he realized he was having a panic attack. The 29-year-old five-time All Star had never experienced such an episode

Steve and Jeffrey Gorman open up about various times in their lives where they have dealt with panic attacks, or similar issues where mental health had a dramatic impact on key moments in adulthood.

Love, whose panic attacks caused him to leave a game against the Atlanta Hawks on November 5th and likely led to his early departure against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 20th.

Love's decision to open up on this issue is admirable. So I did one seemingly little thing that turned out to be a big thing. "Today, I've realized I need to change that".

Love tells how he worked through his lifelong and tacit assumptions about strength and weakness, health and sickness, success and failure and how he came to understand and then reject the stigma that surrounds mental health. It's just, we're human beings, so I appreciate him coming out.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest athlete to reveal his struggles with mental illness and he credits the openness of Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan with making it easier for him to share his story. Although only a couple members of the health staff knew what had transpired against the Hawks, the story hadn't leaked, and he just posted 32 points in a win, Love was ashamed and wanted to keep his anxiety attack a secret. I wouldn't need to see the nurse, but I was going to skip the remainder of class - could he let the professor know?

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'It's not nothing I'm against or ashamed of, ' he said. I know that, left untreated, mental illnesses can develop and worsen and even metastasize, cancer-like, from neuroses into full-blown psychoses.

As I was learning how to deal with chronic anxiety and control attacks, I started spending more and more time around the National Basketball Association, near the court, in locker rooms and talking to people I never thought I'd even meet.

In any case, now that Love has made his panic attacks a matter of public record, everything has been put in perspective. Nor did most people outside of the organization. "I want to share some of my thoughts about my panic attack and what's happened since".

"I want to make it clear that I don't have things figured out about all of this", he added. I remember when I was two or three years into the league, a friend asked me why National Basketball Association players didn't see therapists. On the court, I think the expectations for the season, combined with our 4-5 start, were weighing on me.

"It's hard to describe, but everything was spinning, like my brain was trying to climb out of my head", said Love, a five-time All-Star now sidelined after breaking his left hand last month.

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