Houston Rockets forward Royce White joined Jim Rome on his radio show to discuss his anxiety disorder and his relationship with the Rockets. The rookie began by laying out anxiety disorders in general and then his situation in particular.
“The spectrum with mental health is really, really wide,” said White. “Some people with anxiety disorders worries or fears are very, very unreasonable. Like there’s probably people out there right now scared of a meteor shower that will be cataclysmic.”
White says that his anxiety disorder is a little different than that.
“My worries are more of the real dangers that are represented by society,” White said. “Like people texting and driving, people being very unpredictable and some people being very malicious. I love life a lot and I plan on being here a lot. So my anxieties are more based on some more real fears or some more common type of dangers that really exist.”
Mental health and anxiety disorders are rarely, if ever, discussed in professional sports, especially in the locker room. But White isn’t worried about what his Rocket teammates or coaches will think.
“I’m a very team bonded type of guy and people know that from me when I was at Iowa State. And I hope that they get it and I hope that with me coming back and me showing what I’m willing to put on the line for the team and everybody knows I’m an unselfish basketball player,” said White.
“But, whether they get it, or not, really isn’t important because we all don’t get it as a society,” White continued. “That’s just the tough truth that we have to face, that our awareness and our consciousness of maybe one of the greatest social issues of our time that’s been over looked, needs to increase.”
White is expected to report to Houston’s D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, on February 11 and when he does, he sees that as a step towards further educating himself and others about mental health.
“I understand that my coaches and my teammates and the front office are just another part of that demographic of us being Americans and not really understanding. So they will learn just as I will learn, and I’m still learning a ton of things about mental health,” said White. “It’s really not about problems it’s about problem solving.”