NBA Player's Battle with Anxiety Lands Him on the Bench
Do you or someone you know suffer from a debilitating fear? Dr. Phil defines a phobia as a persistent and recurrent fear of a particular situation, object or activity that poses little or no actual danger. The person experiencing a phobia knows that the fear is irrational, but they cannot help it. To know if it’s abnormal, ask yourself: Does it disrupt your life, create uncomfortable involuntary reactions, block your goals, and/or drain your life energy?
Crippled by Fear
“Every Single Day There is Something That Limits Me”Jodi says her extreme fears of heights and flying are taking over her life — and cheating her 8-year-old daughter, Charlee, out of opportunities. Jodi admits that she’s turned down six-figure jobs that require her to get on a plane and now makes less than $20,000. She says she would like to take Charlee to Disney World but can’t, and she encourages her to focus on local activities and dissuades her from following her dreams of joining a competitive dance group, because they travel. Jodi says she even finds herself lying to her parents about why she can’t visit — all so she doesn’t have to cross a bridge that separates their home from hers.
Jodi’s husband, Chat, weighs in on the effects of her phobias. “Jody’s fears prevent us from being able to experience different things, and it seems like it’s getting worse, not better," he says.
Dr. Lawlis gives Jodi a relaxation CD to take home and asks her to listen to it repeatedly.
“We don’t want to do this until you get it right. We want to do this until you can’t get it wrong,” Dr. Phil says.
Battle with the League
NBA rookie Royce White recently made headlines when he was suspended by the Houston Rockets for “refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Player Contract," after he failed to report to his D-league assignment. Royce, who has an anxiety disorder and a fear of flying, says he wanted a mental health clause added to his contract — and he wouldn’t play until that happened. “Mental health needs to be addressed in the NBA, period,” he says. Royce is the first NBA prospect to disclose that he suffers from mental illness.
“I’ve had anxiety my whole life,” he says, revealing it’s often tied to his organization rituals. “When an anxiety attack is coming on, it feels like death. I’ve had my feet go numb, my hands go numb, my vision go blurry and my heart pounds really hard.” He says he also suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and says he’s hyper-vigilant about his surroundings. On the court, though, he says he feels at ease.
Official Statement by the Houston RocketsThe Houston Rockets' Media Relations Director issued the following statement on behalf of the team:
"The Houston Rockets and Royce White have today reached an agreement that addresses the major issues that they have been discussing, provides a new start, and gives Royce the best opportunity for long-term success as a Houston Rocket. This has been a learning process for both parties. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have approved the settlement. Royce is no longer suspended and is re-instated effective immediately. He will report to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on February 11, 2013."
Fear No More
Since appearing on the show, Caroline visited Dr. Lawlis’ PNP Center. She says she learned many relaxation techniques, including how to breathe properly.
“I have been cured,” she excitedly shares with Dr. Phil. She says she feels safe in her home and is not frightened anymore.
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