Kudos to Kevin Love for having the courage to divulge this information. The Cleveland Cavaliers star forward wrote an essay for The Players Tribune, detailing his battles with panic attacks.

Love, 29, suffered his first panic attack during a Nov. 5 home game against the Atlanta Hawks. Later after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, he was crucified for faking an illness.
“For 29 years, I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem. Sure, I knew on some level that some people benefited from asking for help or opening up. I just never thought it was for me. 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.”

“When I got to the bench, I felt my heart racing faster than usual. Then I was having trouble catching my breath. It’s hard to describe, but everything was spinning, like my brain was trying to climb out of my head. The air felt thick and heavy. My mouth was like chalk.

“I remember our assistant coach yelling something about a defensive set. I nodded, but I didn’t hear much of what he said. By that point, I was freaking out. When I got up to walk out of the huddle, I knew I couldn’t re-enter the game—like, literally couldn’t do it physically.”

“I was running from room to room, like I was looking for something I couldn’t find. Really I was just hoping my heart would stop racing. It was like my body was trying to say to me, ‘You’re about to die.’ I ended up on the floor in the training room, lying on my back, trying to get enough air to breathe.”
It was then that Love sought out the comfort of a therapist. Love said that it was difficult opening up about his situation as he was taught to keep his feelings private and work through them alone.


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