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  • Jotham Busfield, LICSW

Kevin Love + Anxiety

This episode of the Grim Drive Podcast, where we explore mental health through the lens of professional sports and athletes, takes a look at Kevin Love + Anxiety. You can access the episode here:


Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the US alone, as well as many under the age of 18. Kevin Love, a superstar basketball player in the NBA, is one of those 40 million.

Anxiety does not discriminate based on socioeconomic status, background, ethnicity, or any other factor.

This episode delves into Kevin Love’s experience with anxiety and panic. We discuss our takeaways from him opening up about these issues, anxiety as a mental health issue, and strategies for how to combat anxiety for those who also struggle to overcome this widespread issue.

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Kevin Love related links:

Second Player’s Tribune Article on 9/17/20:

Featured on “The Anxious Achiever Podcast” with Morra Aarons-Mele Season 3, episode 7:

Video interview (along with Demar Derozan) with Dr. Michael Gervais, psychologist who works with the Seahawks:

Info on Anxiety:

Data Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.

  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events

Mood disorders in the Anxiety realm include:

  • GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

  • Panic Disorder

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Agoraphobia

  • Specific Phobias

*Certain levels of anxiety are healthy and can be helpful; there is a difference between mild day to day anxiety and a diagnosable mood disorder:

*Difference between Anxiety and Stress: The difference between them is that stress is something external that we are “under”…Anxiety is an internal reaction, involving excessive worry, at times even if no direct sources of stress exist

Anxiety (DSM-V):

  • Worry that is excessive and difficult to control most days for at least six months

  • 3/6 of the following:

    • Restless or keyed up

    • Easily fatigued

    • Trouble concentrating

    • Irritable

    • Muscle tension

    • Sleep disturbance

Some of our suggestions for those struggling with Anxiety:

Reducing Anxiety:

- Higher Level Outlook

- Reactive Strategies

- Proactive Strategies

Higher Level Outlook:

Remove EXPECTATIONS…everywhere (happiness = reality - expectations)

- Plan and hope for good things to happen, but don’t expect anything

- Replace Expect with ACCEPT

Reactive Strategies:

- Last resort

- Focus breathing

- Grounding techniques

Proactive Strategies: - More work in some ways but WORTH IT

- Talk to someone (part of getting better is making sure your’e not getting worse)

- Release valve

- Healthy morning/night routines and prioritizing sleep

- Mindfulness-based meditation and breathing techniques

- Adaptive responses throughout each day

- Counteract the slant towards negativity

- Grateful Project/exercise is one example (Tesla effect)

- Treat yourself like a best friend

- “i” vs “me” / self vs. ego / self 1 (actual self) vs. self 2 (internal critic)

- All synonymous

- * Learn how to lead the critic, not the other way around

Both (Proactive+Reactive):

- Get active (need to counteract cortisol + adrenaline release that comes from stress/anxiety)

- Exercise (mainly walking)

- Set goals that focus on things we can control

- Process over product (when it comes to goal setting)

- Live on the scale of a day

Be sure to check out our next episode of The Grim Drive Podcast, where we discuss DeMar DeRozan + Anxiety:


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