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Celebrating Women & Girls In Sports

Celebrating Women & Girls In Sports

WNBA All-Star Opens Up About Mental Health

Being a professional basketball player is a big enough challenge as it is. Years of hard work and commitment to the grind are part of the formula to get to the highest level of the sport.

But for Liz Cambage, the journey is rocky. Cambage has anxiety and depression, which have come with their own unique set of challenges to overcome.

No longer is it just about the grind and attention to detail to be good enough to play in the WNBA. For Cambage, it’s all of that plus the daily challenge of keeping her mental health in check.

Cambage plays for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA. She is dominant on the court. She’s able to put up points, steal the ball, and dish out assists, and she holds the WNBA single-game scoring record. She’s also had multiple All-Star appearances, and was named All-WNBA First Team in 2018. She’s played professionally overseas in Australia (her home country), and China. 

Recently, Cambage has opened up about her struggle with mental health. In an article written for The Players’ Tribune titled “DNP-Mental Health”, she explains some of her biggest challenges. 

She writes “I’ve battled mental health problems — first, anxiety, and later the depression that anxiety can trigger — on and off for about half my life.” Cambage also describes her battle as a ‘rip.’

“It’s this thing where, one moment you might be having a normal sunny day at the beach, no big deal. You’re chilling, you’re swimming around with your friends. And then the next moment — what you don’t even realize, is that slowly but surely the current has been dragging you out into the ocean. And now the water is getting deeper and deeper….. and your friends have all disappeared….. and it doesn’t feel so sunny anymore….. and you can’t move….. and you can’t breathe….. until suddenly it’s just you, alone, under these enormous, dark waves…..And you drown. That’s a rip. It’s also the closest I can come to describing what it’s like when I’m depressed.”

Cambage opens up by saying that she doesn’t think the world is truly ready to talk about mental health deeply, but she wants to help start the conversation. She discusses some of her early challenges, like issues with sobriety, suicidal thoughts, and many other scary realities. 

Read her article for yourself. Take her words and ponder them deeply. Cambage shows that on the outside your life can look so perfect. She is a successful basketball player and has a lifestyle many people dream of having. Opening up about her mental health places her on the same playing field as millions of others. The only difference between Liz Cambage and an average person is that she has a platform to promote the conversation. 

In her own words, “I also wanted to let everyone know that I didn’t drown. I’m still here, and still fighting this battle on a daily basis…And I’m going to keep talking about it — in as real a way as I know how.”

Photo Credit: Pexels, Instagram

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