Kevin Love Shares His Experience With Panic Attacks: "People Don't Talk About Mental Health Enough"

Illustration for article titled Kevin Love Shares His Experience With Panic Attacks: "People Don't Talk About Mental Health Enough"
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson (Getty)

Kevin Love came forward today about his struggles with mental health, including a panic attack during a game earlier this season that required a hospital visit and convinced him to begin seeing a therapist.


Love shared his experience in a piece on The Players’ Tribune, a week after fellow NBA player DeMar DeRozan went public about his own battle with depression.

The Cavaliers center describes becoming dizzy and unable to breathe in a November game against the Hawks before running off the court and finally being helped to the hospital. After struggling to process and talk about what happened during that panic attack, he made an appointment with a therapist for the first time. (Love doesn’t address this in the piece, but has since reported that another panic attack was the reason for his early departure in a January game against Oklahoma City, and Love finally told his teammates about his mental health during the infamous team meeting that was held the following week.)  

The piece in full is worth your time, but here’s a particularly valuable bit:  

If you’re suffering silently like I was, then you know how it can feel like nobody really gets it. Partly, I want to do it for me, but mostly, I want to do it because people don’t talk about mental health enough. And men and boys are probably the farthest behind.

I know it from experience. Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to “be a man.” It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. So for 29 years of my life, I followed that playbook. And look, I’m probably not telling you anything new here. These values about men and toughness are so ordinary that they’re everywhere … and invisible at the same time, surrounding us like air or water. They’re a lot like depression or anxiety in that way.

[The Players’ Tribune]