San Antonio Spurs: Kevin Love thanks DeMar DeRozan for his courage

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 30: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up on the court prior to the game against the San Antonio Spurs at Quicken Loans Arena on January 30, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 30: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up on the court prior to the game against the San Antonio Spurs at Quicken Loans Arena on January 30, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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By having the courage to open up, the San Antonio Spurs guard has helped others

Since he suffered an anxiety attack on the bench during a regular-season game back in 2018, Kevin Love has become one of the most outspoken advocates for mental health awareness in the NBA. And, according to Love, he wouldn’t have been able to tell his story and share his struggles were it not for the bravery of San Antonio Spurs guard, DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan has been open about his struggles with depression and has used his platform to draw attention to the unforgiving nature of the never-ending fight against it. And through his openness, he has inspired others to use their platform to do the same.

Kevin Love thanks DeMar DeRozan for helping him build the courage to speak

In a recently published article for The Player’s TribuneLove went into detail about his battles with depression and anxiety, how intimately they were linked to his perceived value of himself as Kevin Love the basketball player, and how he is continuing to work on being comfortable with himself as Kevin Love the human being.

Whether you yourself have struggled with mental health issues or know someone who has, Love’s article is a must-read. It pulls back the veil on the sometimes near-superhuman perception of a professional athlete and reemphasizes that they’re just people, like you and me, and that they struggle too. And that’s okay.

It’s a beautiful and touching piece that, as Love wrote, wouldn’t have been possible without DeRozan.

“The fact is, the real person is still dealing with his deep-seated shit every single day. The real person is still trying to learn how to control his anger and anxiety. And the real person, by the way, never would have been able to tell his story in the first place without the courage of DeMar DeRozan, who blazed that path for everybody in the league today.”

So, as someone who benefitted tremendously from reading what Love had to say, thank you, DeMar, for giving others the courage to speak out.

Love’s message about not being able to achieve your way out of depression is one that surely resonates with many of us. And his points about having his anxiety triggered by the never-ending news cycles and social media rings particularly true these days. There’s so much negativity, it’s easy to fall into it all and find yourself in a place of hopelessness and apathy. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Please, if you are struggling, find someone who you can open up to. It can be a therapist, a family member, or a friend you trust and feel comfortable with, but be honest with them about what you’re going through. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

And if you find yourself on the other end of that interaction and someone you care about approaches you and asks to talk about what they’re struggling with, listen, be there for them, let them know that you care. You don’t have to have a solution to the problems they’re facing. Sometimes just being a person who is willing to listen and tell them that they’re not alone can be enough.

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Remember, it’s okay to be depressed, it’s okay to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. Being open and vulnerable about what you’re struggling with isn’t easy, but it’s the first step on the path to a brighter tomorrow. And you don’t have to walk that path alone.

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