How OCD almost ended one NBA player’s career before it began

Shane Larkin is a NBA player who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He is but one of a growing number of players who are silently dealing with mental health issues and the myriad of consequences that come with it. Fear of being ostracized by teams and coaches, and possibly losing their jobs, prevents many of them from getting the medicine that could greatly improve their lives. The trade-off is that the medication that may help them, may also dull the competitive edge that they need to remain at the top of their profession. The negative stigma of being “medicated” coupled with the fear of what treatment may mean to their careers, keeps affected players walking the uncomfortable tightrope – trying to balance their wellness with their athletic performance performance.

Reflect on these key points:

  • 1Obsessive compulsive disorder affects about 1 in 100 children and about 2.3% of the population.
  • 2OCD behavior is often linked to specific numbers, which initiates rituals the sufferer feels compelled to enact.
  • 3Sometimes the sufferer experiences a behavior-free zone, such as when playing on a basketball court.

“It’s a gamble that some players don’t believe is worth taking, because it could affect their ability to be employed by a skeptical coach or general manager.”

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