Kevin Love Says He Struggles with Suicidal Thoughts on 'Brutal' Days: 'I've Learned to Speak My Truth'
During a preview of this weekend’s episode of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, the NBA star, 32, opens up about committing himself to prioritizing his mental wellbeing through regular therapy, and how he still occasionally battles thoughts of self-harm. Love said during one particularly low point in 2012 he would search methods online but never attempted.
"Those are really scary moments in my life," he said. "... The good thing that happens is when you do search that it comes up with the National Suicide Prevention line. There was a couple ways that I toyed with but it was too scary to get down that route and think about that idea of taking my own life, but it was something that crossed my mind pretty often, especially in a moment like that."
Even after therapy, Love said some days can still be "brutal" compared to others. "You don't get to turn it on or turn it off," he said. The basketball player added that, as far as suicidal thoughts go, "it does cross your mind, and I've learned to speak my truth."
Love explained that he shares his journey with mental health since "nothing haunts us like the things we don't say, so me keeping that in is actually more harmful."
"I think that's been the biggest and most helpful thing for me is exposing it, understanding that it is gonna make me vulnerable and maybe put me in a spot where most people it could be tough, but I know that there's a whole group and strength in numbers out there of people who are dealing with it."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
"I suffer a lot from imposter theory as well," said Love. "Like I sometimes don't feel deserving. I don't feel like I'm worthy of what I've accomplished, or the success I've had, and a lot of times I feel like a fraud, because I don't feel like I've achieved enough."
Last year, Love opened up to PEOPLE about sharing with fans his fight against depression and anxiety, as well as how he knew he was ready to reveal his struggles to the world.
“It was a very tough year for me away from the floor,” he explained at the time. “People don’t even know the extent of it, but they know enough to be very relatable for me, having suffered from anxiety and depression my whole life, for as long as I can remember.”
Back in 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward created the Kevin Love Fund after releasing an article explaining his struggles with mental health. The foundation is aimed at awareness for children struggling with mental health.
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“What I have found about mental health or mental illness is that it takes many shapes and forms,” he said. “It goes with every demographic, but I think for myself in creating my fund, the big demographic I really want to point out and look to is children. I think it is very important for kids and their parents to understand what is going on, and that’s why being here is so important.”
While anxiety is a constant battle for him, Love finds his greatest accomplishment in life to also be his stress reliever: basketball.
“Basketball has always been my safe place,” said Love. “It is a good stress reliever and a place where you can be freed. It was my first love, so basketball is always been my safe place, but I would say more often than not, in a large majority of time, it [anxiety] has taken place away from the court.”
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.