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Cavaliers star Kevin Love details personal battle with panic attacks

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love greets fans before an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, in Memphis, Tenn. The All-Star forward, who has been sidelined since late January with a broken left hand, said Friday, March 2, 2018, that he’s progressing well and it’s possible he could return sooner than expected. Love has been out since Jan. 29 and was expected to miss two months.(AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love revealed his personal battle with panic attacks — so severe, the five-time All-Star was forced out of games — in an essay he wrote for The Players’ Tribune on Tuesday.

“On November 5th, right after halftime against the Hawks, I had a panic attack,” Love wrote. “It came out of nowhere. I’d never had one before. I didn’t even know if they were real. But 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.”

Cleveland.com reported that Love left a game in January for the same reasons.

Love, 29, said that even though he is an intensely private person, he decided to share his story after Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan recently detailed his battle with depression and anxiety in an interview with the Toronto Star.

“Just by sharing what he shared, DeMar probably helped some people — and maybe a lot more people than we know — feel like they aren’t crazy or weird to be struggling with depression,” Love wrote. “His comments helped take some power away from that stigma, and I think that’s where the hope is.”

Love, who was an All-Star this season, hasn’t played since Jan. 30 because of a broken bone in his left hand.

“I want to make it clear that I don’t have things figured out about all of this,” Love said in the essay titled “Everyone is going through something.”

“I’m just starting to do the hard work of getting to know myself,” he continued. “For 29 years, I avoided that. Now, I’m trying to be truthful with myself. I’m trying to be good to the people in my life. I’m trying to face the uncomfortable stuff in life while also enjoying, and being grateful for, the good stuff. I’m trying to embrace it all, the good, bad and ugly.”