Kevin Love says recent panic attack changed the way he thinks about mental health.
Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love published an essay for The Player's Tribune today, titled "Everyone Is Going Through Something," in which he details a recent in-game panic attack and his thoughts about mental health.
Love explains that he first experienced a panic attack during a November 5th game against the Atlanta Hawks earlier this season, shortly after a conversation on the bench with head coach Tyronn Lue. After being benched by Lue in the third quarter, Love says he took off toward the locker room with his heart racing.
“I was running from room to room, like I was looking for something I couldn’t find,” Love said. “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 came out of nowhere. I’d never had one before. I didn’t even know if they were real," Love wrote. "But it was real — as real a broken hand or a sprained ankle. Since that day, almost everything about the way I think about my mental health has changed."
In addition to being benched and the Cavs' early season struggles, Love also explains that he was dealing with family issues and not sleeping well which contributed to his in-game panic attack. Love wrote that he has since started seeing a therapist and is finding ways to deal with the grief of his grandmother's death, something that he had previously failed to confront.
After his experience Love began looking at mental health differently, and he credits Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan for opening up about his struggles with depression and anxiety.
"Just by sharing what he shared, DeMar probably helped some people — and maybe a lot more people than we know — feel like they aren’t crazy or weird to be struggling with depression," Love wrote. "His comments helped take some power away from that stigma, and I think that’s where the hope is."