Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan said Tuesday night he is proud his acknowledgement that he suffers from depression helped Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love open up about his own mental health issues.
In an essay published on The Players' Tribune on Tuesday, Love talked about suffering a panic attack during a game this season and how it led to him addressing his mental health.
"It made me feel, you know, pretty damn good, honestly," DeRozan said about Love's essay. "So it's cool to be able to help somebody."
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 7, 2018
DeRozan talked with the Toronto Star last week about his bouts with depression, saying they can often become overwhelming.
"It's one of them things that no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we're all human at the end of the day," DeRozan told The Star. "Sometimes ... it gets the best of you, where times everything in the whole world's on top of you."
On Tuesday night, DeRozan, 28, said the response to the article has surprised him.
"The last week has been one of the most incredible things that I have witnessed, period," DeRozan said after scoring 25 points in the Raptors' 106-90 win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks. "Everything I got back from it was so positive."
Love, 29, said in his essay that DeRozan was part of his inspiration.
"Mental health is an invisible thing, but it touches all of us at some point or another," Love wrote. "It's part of life. Like DeMar said, 'You never know what that person is going through.'"
Love was taken to the hospital during a Nov. 5 loss to the Hawks with what he described at the time as stomach pain and shortness of breath. In his Players' Tribune essay, he acknowledged the symptoms were caused by a panic attack.
"It came out of nowhere," Love wrote. "It was real -- as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle. Since that day, almost everything about the way I think about my mental health has changed."
Love's essay also got a positive response, drawing support from teammate LeBron James on Twitter.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 6, 2018
Love wrote that since the initial panic attack he has been seeing a therapist a few times per month.
Love has not played since breaking his hand Jan. 30. He said Friday that he was optimistic he would return to game action before the team's stated eight-week recovery timeline.
He ended his piece by encouraging anyone dealing with inner struggles to seek help.
"So if you're reading this and you're having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you're not weird or different for sharing what you're going through," Love wrote. "Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me."