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NBA Star Reveals His Secret Battle With Anxiety In Powerful Essay

Keith Allison - Wikimedia

After more than a decade in the NBA, Kevin Love has earned a reputation as one of the league's toughest players.

So when a mysterious injury forced him to leave a game at half time last year, fans of his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were concerned.

When Love left at halftime again a few months later - still with no explanation - they were even more worried.

Now, Love has finally revealed that he was suffering in silence from a condition most pro athletes will never discuss: panic attacks.

The pro basketball player says his attack last November was so severe that he had trouble breathing, and had to be hospitalized.

While panic attacks have received more attention lately, and were even featured on the hit show This Is Us, they're still a taboo subject for many people.

Especially among athletes, who pride themselves on being almost invincible.

But Love isn't afraid to discuss his vulnerability, and wrote openly about his struggle with anxiety in a recent essay for The Player's Tribune.

Kevin LoveAP

The Attack

“It came out of nowhere," Love wrote about his first panic attack. "I’d never had one before. I didn’t even know if they were real."

But by the next day, Love knew that a panic attack was "as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle."

While he says he's learning to cope with his anxiety through therapy, Love wants to start a conversation about mental health for other men.

“If you’re suffering silently like I was, then you know how it can feel like nobody really gets it," he wrote.

But Love isn't the only celebrity sharing his personal story about mental health issues.

"The power of saying things out loud"

Love hoped that by sharing his story, he could inspire other men to seek help and support for their mental health.

“In the short time I’ve been meeting with the therapist, I’ve seen the power of saying things out loud in a setting like that,” he explained.

He wrote that the stress of losing his grandmother and the everyday pressures of being an NBA player had been weighing on Love during his panic attack.

He was also inspired to speak out by another player, DeMar DeRozan, who revealed he was living with depression and anxiety in an interview last year.

DeMar DeRozan and Chris Evans.Keith Allison - Wikimedia / Gage Skidmore

Tough Guys Speak Out

But other male celebrities, including Captain America star Chris Evans, have also shared their personal struggles with anxiety.

“Maybe the thing you’re most scared of is exactly the thing you should do," Evans said in a Twitter video to his fans.

He shared that learning to silence his own critical thoughts helped him find success in Hollywood.

"The problem is, in most of our lives, the root of suffering is following [those critical thoughts] and listening to that brain noise and actually identifying with it as if it’s who you are," he explained.

Let's spread this important message, because everyone should hear it!

[H/T: The Player's Tribune, HuffPost]

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