Kevin Love Embraces Mental Health

This week, Her Campus KU had the honor of hosting a watch party for NBA all-star Kevin Love, as he spoke about his recent campaign in 2018 as a mental health advocate. Coming to the public with his anxiety and depression, Love wrote a story in March for The Players’ Tribune. Titled “Everyone is Going Through Something”, Love writes,

“I’ve never been comfortable sharing much about myself. I turned 29 in September and for pretty much 29 years of my life I have been protective about anything and everything in my inner life. I was comfortable talking about basketball — but that came natural. It was much harder to share personal stuff, and looking back now I know I could have really benefited from having someone to talk to over the years. But I didn’t share — not to my family, not to my best friends, not in public. Today, I’ve realized I need to change that. I want to share some of my thoughts about my panic attack and what’s happened since. If you’re suffering silently like I was, then you know how it can feel like nobody really gets it. Partly, I want to do it for me, but mostly, I want to do it because people don’t talk about mental health enough. And men and boys are probably the farthest behind.”

This snippet sums it up, and one of the main takeaways we found ourselves talking about is how depression and anxiety doesn’t discriminate. It occurs in third world countries and in worldwide celebrities. It can strike upon young teenagers and the elderly. Gender, race, socioeconomic status, mental health is everywhere.

The best thing about this? It can unite us. Kevin Love spoke a lot about how many people responded to his story, and how much of a bond people suffering together can form. Kevin Love has met so many others who deal with anxiety because of sports, or work, or just in general, but he never would have realized he wasn’t alone if he didn’t speak out first.

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Another thing to take away from Kevin Love’s mental health awareness campaign is that hyper-masculinity is toxic, and will eventually hurt your mental health more than anything.

"Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to “be a man.” It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. So for 29 years of my life, I followed that playbook. And look, I’m probably not telling you anything new here. These values about men and toughness are so ordinary that they’re everywhere … and invisible at the same time, surrounding us like air or water. They’re a lot like depression or anxiety in that way. So for 29 years, I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem."

Realizing now that real men talk about feelings and speak with a therapist and understand that feeling anxious and depressed is a normal part of life and should be embraced, everything changed, a switch was flipped. It’s so important to know that asking for help or speaking out isn’t a form of weakness, and I think this goes for everyone.

Overall, Kevin Love is a great guy, and his campaign is important and made an impact on so many people in the realm of sports, and college life.