December 27, 2016
A self-proclaimed diehard New York Giants fan is expressing gratitude toward Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks for opening up about his anxiety.
On Dec. 14, Brooks announced in a locker room meeting with the press that he’s been diagnosed with anxiety, which drives him toward extreme perfectionism and caused symptoms similar to stomach ulcers.
Brooks dealt with bouts of vomiting, which led him to miss several games this season, as well as when he was with the Houston Texans previously.
The letter, penned by The Mighty contributor Leah Oren, explains how she, too, has anxiety, along with more than 40 million American adults.
In the piece, Oren applauds Brooks' honesty and expresses how a professional athlete opening up can be viewed as a big step toward changing the way people view and deal with mental health issues.
"To hear him say, 'I realized I couldn’t defeat it myself' and needed to ask for help is a very sobering and inspiring action, one that can make it easier for others to seek assistance in battling their own demons.
There is so much maturity in Brandon’s story. In a league that has been chastised for incorrectly addressing a variety of issues, both internally and publicly, from domestic violence to concussion protocol, Brandon’s response to mental health and the help he received should not be devalued. Much was done right."
Oren adds that she will "never root for him on the field," but he has her support and respect otherwise.