Carson Daly & NBA Star Kevin Love Discuss Anxiety on Today Show

“I had a moment where I thought I was going to die. I had never experienced something like that. I thought I was having a heart attack,” Love told Carson Daly.

NBA All Star Kevin Love and Carson Daly have something in common—they both struggle with managing their anxiety.

This came up in a recent interview on the Today show, where Love, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, described the panic attack that set off his quest to spread mental health awareness.

“I had a moment where I thought I was going to die. I had never experienced something like that. I thought I was having a heart attack,” he told Carson Daly.

Love is sharing his experience in hopes that he’ll encourage more people to feel comfortable doing the same. Men in particular, Love says, have a hard time opening up about mental health issues.

Raised on this mindset, at first Love, too, tried downplaying his panic attack. “I kind of brushed it off, because in our sport or in life, and being a man, you’re taught to suppress it. You’re taught to suffer in silence,” he said.

Love’s essay “Everyone Is Going Through Something” was published in The Players’ Tribune in March 2018. In it, Love discussed the panic attack and the importance of talking about mental health.

“To me, it was a form of weakness that could derail my success in sports or make me seem weird or different,” he wrote.

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

With Love and fellow NBA players DeMar DeRozan and Channing Frye speaking up about mental health, the NBA has addressed mental health in the league. It launched a new initiative under NBA Cares called Mind Health, aiming to teach people how to recognize and manage stress, while providing support.

And the NBA Players Association appointed its first director of mental health and wellness, Dr. William Parham.

TV anchor Carson Daly previously shared his struggles with anxiety disorder in March. The former Total Request Live (TRL) host said he was a “worrywart kid” and was “nervous my whole life.”

His anxiety reached a breaking point the more success he achieved. “I had no idea what [a panic attack] was at the time,” he recalled. “The success of my career, I flew to New York, and my life changed overnight. I had a hard time breathing. I was terrified for no apparent reason.”

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