Justise Winslow Admits He’s Been Struggling With Depression: ‘It’s a Daily Battle’

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After opening up in March about mental health issues plaguing today’s NBA players, Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow openly shared his daily personal struggles in an upcoming documentary.

“For me, I’m just learning how to snap out of it and remain positive at all times,” Winslow said prior to the Heat’s preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. “I still have my moments, I still have my days. My family can speak to that, as well. But for me, it’s about the awareness I have now.

“I think the biggest thing is I recognize it more myself, where before I kind of just went down that hole without even knowing. So my ability to recognize it has come a long way, but it’s a daily battle. Those type of things, mental health doesn’t just go away.”

Though he wasn’t clinically diagnosed with depression, Winslow had struggled with negativity as he went through difficult times as an NBA player. But the 23-year old revealed previously that he made it a point to enjoy the smaller things in life and worry less about things happening right for him.

Besides, he is currently aware that he’s not alone in dealing with the mental health problems that have plagued many athletes. NBA stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan have been vocal about their own issues with the disorder as well.

“When I started coming out and talking about it, there was a part of me that felt weak or felt vulnerable or didn’t feel that manly by doing that,” Winslow explained. “But at this point, I’m comfortable with it because I know everyone deals with it. They might not be comfortable talking about it, and that’s OK. But I know a lot of people are dealing with the same emotional things.”

Now he wants to share his struggles so that others can benefit from his pain.

“I know there are people dealing with things every day that they go in and out between positive and negative,” Winslow added. “For me, I just shared my story. Not because I’m super comfortable with it. I’m still not very comfortable talking about it. But I do it because I know it benefits other people. … Just by me talking about, it gives them that faith and that hope and that understanding that they’re not alone.”

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Omar is a freelance writer who has followed the NBA for more than 30 years. Prior to the Internet, he devoured every reading material he could find on the game from newspaper articles to books and magazines. He became a Heat fan the moment they acquired Tim Hardaway and his killer crossover, and lamented not seeing him and Alonzo Mourning win a championship. Seeing Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh play in Miami was a surreal moment for him and more so after they validated the Decision with back-to-back championships. He is ecstatic to cover Miami basketball for Heat Nation.