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Depression

Even a Million Dollar NBA Player Has Personal Obstacles to Overcome

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We might see professional athletes as role models who are unstoppable, but they too have their own hurdles to get across. Cleveland Cavalier Kevin Love, an advocate for mental health, described his own experiences of how he balanced anxiety and basketball.

In the Player’s Tribune, Love admittedly said that “I didn’t want to look weak. Honestly, I just didn’t think I needed it.” Last November during a game against the Hawks, Love encountered a panic attack and abruptly had to step out midway. People mostly pay attention to physical health and wellness, especially for athletes, and not towards mental health. Growing up around the stigma that all men needed to be strong without discussing any feelings, Love always felt that he was forced to repress his grievances and hardships. By suppressing his thoughts for 21 years, it just made his mental health more complicated.

He emphasizes the importance of discussing out loud our inner feelings and confronting the fact that “I need help.” He wants everyone to know that “everyone is going through something we can’t see.”

“Everyone is going through something we can’t see.”

The primary concern regarding mental health illness is that it isn’t seen visibly. That is why it is difficult for some people to accept this illness without observing any tangible evidence.

A few months later after Love confessed his situation to the public, Carson Daly conducted a full interview with him on the Today Show. He finally decided to break the silence and opened his heart to the public about how he overcame the stigmas of mental illness. Even though it may be a never ending process filled with dark thoughts and a constant battle in your mind, he found much more support when he spoke openly about mental health to others. Now, Love goes to a therapist and is continuing to combat his internal fight every day. His social media fans are inspired by his actions and are fascinated by his admittance.

It’s not only Love who acknowledges mental illness as a prominent problem; it is a recurring trend where celebrities are opening up about their internal struggles to the public during interviews. Diminishing psychological health is understandable for people who are constantly under high pressure and stress from society. A few months ago, renowned people such as Janet Jackson and Ariana Grande opened up about their personal conflicts in the People’s article. We should respect that these public figures, role models, and celebrities are still human. As humans, we all have individual hardships to conquer; but together, everyone’s support can help bring awareness and care for mental diseases. As more people feel comfortable enough to come out from the dark to discuss their feelings openly, mental illness will soon demand a greater focus in society.

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A-Z

Beyond Sadness

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With the traumatic suicidal losses of well- known Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain this year, depression is rightly considered as a major chronic disorder that needs extra attention from the public. Mental illness often gets pushed aside if there are no apparent symptoms that can be physically observed. That is why a greater emphasis must be placed on depression, and that the symptoms are not taken lightly as just “sadness”.

Though the neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects mood and emotions, is commonly associated with this disorder, the main causes are genetics and experiences. Depression is categorized as a feeling of hopelessness, lack of energy, and displeasure in prior enjoyable experiences. Without treatment, this chronic disease can hinder a person’s ability to function normally on a daily basis. Other side effects are appetite changes, loss of energy and sleep, and thoughts of suicide.

Run for the Cure

Luckily, this illness is treatable, and about 80-90% people respond positively to treatment. There are medication and antidepressants to modify a person’s brain chemistry but could be unsubstantial most of the time. Other treatments such as psychotherapy could treat more severe cases to talk through emotional difficulties.

A major type of treatment that tends to be overlooked is the impact of physical activity. Regular exercise eases depression by releasing endorphins, which are natural chemicals to help your body feel good and earn a better sense of well- being. Other than its ability to improve cardiovascular disease and lung disease, high- intensity activity helps to support nerve cell growth and connections in the hippocampus, which relieves depression. Moreover, it helps the individual to gain confidence, engage in more social interaction, and manage in a healthier way that doesn’t involve alternative drug dosages. Having at least 30 minutes of physical exercise 3-5 days a week can significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. This self- care method will have long-term effects, and there are great ways to improve your health with such simple remedies. 

It’s important to keep in mind that progress may not be linear. There is no single pill or dose that could magically treat the patient until they feel whole again. With about 1 in 5 people who have a mental health condition, that means everyone is unique and so is their mental illness. It is a common and growing topic that we all must realize so that we can potentially save someone’s life.

 

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