DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love

185: NBA Stars on Mental Health

This week’s conversation is with NBA stars DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love and it’s unique.

It comes from a live panel we did at Aspen Ideas Festival a few weeks back.

Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.

I was invited to host a panel on mental health in sports.

Earlier this year, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs, each publicly discussed their challenges with mental and emotional well-being.

Their honesty started a national conversation about breaking through the stigma and fear of openly discussing mental health issues in professional sports.

In this very personal conversation, the superstar athletes share their experiences with anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

What they reveal about mental health actually reveals much about their mental strength.

I hope this is only the beginning of an era where athletes and for that matter anyone – across any walk of life – has the courage to be vulnerable and have those difficult conversations.

“Mental illness and mental wellness as a whole, it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what gender, socioeconomic status. Nothing. None of that matters. Throw that out. It doesn’t discriminate.”

In This Episode:

  • How to define depression and anxiety and it’s global prevalence
  • Why DeMar came forward and wanted to publicize his struggles
  • The moment where everything fell apart for Kevin
  • DeMar paving the way for Kevin to come forward
  • The importance having the courage to be vulnerable
  • How people become depressed
  • DeMar’s college experience … what he wishes he could change
  • The issue with identify foreclosure.. why it allows you to be great but causes problems in the long term
  • What Kevin realized from seeing people like Anthony Bourdain commit suicide… success is not immune to depression
  • Why having money doesn’t fix mental issues
  • What Kevin has done to help with his anxiety
  • What DeMar has done to better manage his depression… a willingness to be more vulnerable

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