Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has shared his experience about an anxiety attack, and how it push him to break his own misconceptions about mental health issues.
In an insightful piece for The Players Tribune, the 6-10 former rebounding king claimed that he experienced a panic attack in the halftime game against the Hawks on Nov. 5, 2017. He said that he didn’t know what to think because he never had one before.
In fact, before experiencing it himself, he thought that panic attacks are not even real.
“But it was real — as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle. Since that day, almost everything about the way I think about my mental health has changed,” he wrote.
Love said that he’s never been comfortable sharing about his personal life to the public. He’s going to turn 29 in September this year and for much of his life, he hasn’t disclose anything about his family or his love life and his fans understood that.
However, he decided to come out in the open to inspire others who are suffering silently into also seeking help like he did.
He said boys and men are much more vulnerable because society expects them to be strong and not to complain. Any mental health issue is seen as a weakness. That was also his thought process although he acknowledged that some people benefited from getting some form of help for their mental issues.
“I just never thought it was for me,” he added. “To me, it was form of weakness that could derail my success in sports or make me seem weird or different.”
“Then came the panic attack,” he added.
More than surviving the symptoms of the panic attack, he said that he was more concerned about the media finding out and reporting about it. So he had to change his mindset and decided to take control.
“Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are,” Love said. “Not talking about our inner lives robs us of really getting to know ourselves and robs us of the chance to reach out to others in need.”