Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cavaliers' Delonte West fights "mood disorder"


Breaking news over at the Cleavland Cavaliers training camp is that combo guard Delonte West has sought "help for depression and “a mood disorder” he has been battling his entire life."

AP sports writer Tom Withers' also quoted the 25-year old West as saying "I felt a feeling of anger and I just wanted to throw it all away and quit the team." A move (if actualized) which would have left the bulk of 3-year $12.6 million dollar contract (team option for the third year) that he signed with the Cavaliers this past off season on the table.

West also shared contrasting and extreme periods of elation (e.g., West had a number of puzzling remarks after going 2-of-12 from the floor (7 points; 28 minutes) during the Cavaliers pre-season loss to the Spurs last Thursday. West called the matchup as "the funnest game I've played in years" and that "being on the court felt like being on the playground as a child again.") as well as depression (e.g., “When everything is on the upside, I’m feeling the worst.")

While going through the article, my first impression was...

Bipolar Mood Disorder.

www.mental-health-matters.com gives a very concise description of this mental illness:

"Bipolar mood disorder is the new name for what was called manic depressive illness. The new name is used as it better describes the extreme mood swings - from depression and sadness to elation and excitement - that people with this illness experience.

People with bipolar mood disorder experience recurrent episodes of depressed and elated moods. Both can be mild to severe. The term ‘mania’ is used to describe the most severe state of extreme elation and overactivity. Some people with bipolar disorder do not experience depressive episodes-only the episodes of elation and excitement."


I have to give West a lot of credit. He didn't have to come forward and explain to the press...to explain to the world...why he had spent almost two weeks away from the Cavaliers and missed three pre-season games this season. Both he and the Cavaliers simply could have given the generic response: absence due to "personal reasons" or "matters," while the Cavaliers report have reported, "did not disclose the reason for his absence."

But West felt he owed everyone an explanation and he has said all the right things. He mentioned his need "for help" following his behavior "toward a high school referee during a scrimmage at the Cavs’ training facility on October 3."

West also shared that he has begun to seek therapy and is taking regular medication.

West shares, “In a sense, you feel like a weaker man because you have to raise your hand and ask for help,” West said. “But I found out over the last week that it made me a stronger person. I came back focused, and with the help of some medicine and talking with people on a regular basis, I’m back in good spirits.

“I’m back here 100 percent.”

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