It’s not so easy to believe that a professional player that’s paid more money than some can make in a lifetime can be label as depressed. Most would ask, “What are you depressed about?” We as fans look at our favorite athletes as, “Gods,” or even invincible at times because of their unrealistic ability on the court. They “have it all” so you shouldn’t this person be happy, right? For those who aren’t inform on mental illness, players still have financial issues, anxiety, and fights with depression. One NBA player recently opened up about his fight off the court dealing with mental illness.
In an interview with the Toronto Star, Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan spoke about his depression and anxiety.
“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,” the 4-time NBA All-Star said. At the young age of 28, DeRozan should be living the good life or in one of Drake’s music videos but the Compton native says depression gets the best of you at times. “I’m so quiet, if you don’t know me. I stay standoffish in a sense, in my own personal space, to be able to cope with whatever it is you’ve got to cope with.”
DeRozan has always been a respected athletic player on the court but like myself and many others, DeRozan isn’t the player you will see at the nightclub, making it rain at the local strip joint, or grabbing a drink with fans at a sports bar. DeRozan has been effected by his hometown environment from Compton, California watching friends and associates lives being taken away by drug addictions and violence. “This is real stuff,” he said. “We’re all human at the end of the day. That’s why I look at every person I encounter the same way. I don’t care who you are. You can be the smallest person off the street or you could be the biggest person in the world, I’m going to treat everybody the same, with respect.”
He credits his Mother on showing him how to respect others without being judgmental,
“My mom always told me: Never make fun of anybody because you never know what that person is going through. Ever since I was a kid, I never did. I never did. I don’t care what shape, form, ethnicity, nothing. I treat everybody the same. You never know.”
Most professional athletes aren’t home often. Maybe as DeRozan, call another city, like Toronto, home. The difference, is their environment and the people they encounter daily. Imagine having a significant amount of incoming and not know who to trust. That’s stressful in itself. Not only that, the effects of being homesick and stresses a player’s mind. We have to look pass all of the material assets these players have, it can all be taken away just as quickly as they obtained it. “I had friends that I thought was perfectly fine, next thing you know they’re a drug addict and can’t remember yesterday,” DeRozan says. There are several, probably more that we can even imagen, number of players who are drug addicts. Not just speaking up marijuana, I’m talking about the hard stuff. These professionals have the power and connections to buy whatever, whenever at times. Times that with fame, women, access and signed to an organization that could care less about a win, that’s a bad combination for the wrong individual. Depression is real and just because we see these professional athletes living the dream life doesn’t exempt them from real life everyday experiences. As DeRozan says, “We’re all human.” Seek help, it could save your life.