It is true that you never really know what someone is going through.
On March 6, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love published a piece called “Everyone is Going Through Something” on Player’s Tribune, a platform where players of any sport can publish thoughts, stories and reported pieces.
In Love’s piece, he explains an instance of a panic attack during a November game against the Atlanta Hawks. Speculation began amongst fans and sports reporters as to why he left, maybe an injury or something had happened in the family. Love explains that, in reality, it was a panic attack.
The piece goes on to describe the circumstances that may have caused the panic attack and why it was important that he talk about it now.
He explains further in the piece that mental health “is an everyone thing,” and he’s right. Our societal roles often box us in to be a certain way. Typical conventions place women as the emotional, men as the logical. Men, stereotypically masculine men, are often not encouraged in our society to talk about their feelings. Love says that he didn’t want to look “weak” by talking to a therapist about his problems.
Simply put, it isn’t fair.
History imposes these roles based on gender. The idea that women are allowed to be emotional and men aren’t is something that has always existed in toxic, insidious forms, like telling someone to “be a man.”
But something is changing. Our society is beginning to open up about these sorts of talks. There’s a Mental Health Awareness Week in May and World Mental Health Day in October. There’s no shortage of information about these initiatives, and our campus — along with others — has plenty of resources available.
When public figures like Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan (who Love mentions in the piece) come out and talk about their struggles with mental health so publicly, it opens the doors for others who may have been too shy or felt too constricted by societal standards — especially when you consider that both Love and DeRozan are admired by a lot of men who can follow in their example.
So yes, it’s true: Everyone is going through something, but when men like Kevin Love come forward and say that you’re not alone, at least then we know.
We know we can go through it together.
Kellie Nock is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected]