Isaiah Wilkins: The Glue Guy
Editor’s Note: Quite a few of us have seen the dark face of depression as it has swept over family and friends. Sometimes it gets better. Other times, it is relentless and overpowering. On a personal note, depression has stolen away a good man in my own family. That’s why I feel compelled to share this story by Andrea Adelson about Virginia basketball player Isaiah Wilkins. It’s an opportunity to shine further light on an important health issue. One we’ve been avoiding for far too long.
Special from ESPN-Andrea Adelson
If there is one constant about Isaiah Wilkins, it is the way he plays: relentless hustle on defense, unselfish awareness on offense, the consummate team player holding everything together for No. 2 Virginia.
But there are some days Wilkins does not want to hold everything together. Some days, he wants to stay in bed in his darkened bedroom. Some days, he wants to escape inside himself, to be left alone. On days when these feelings hit, Wilkins becomes a study in contrasts: the ultimate “glue guy,” going through moments when he feels as if he is coming unglued.
“It’s just tough, just a lot going on inside of my head,” Wilkins said in a recent interview. “I feel like I live inside of my head a lot. There’s a lot going on upstairs. Don’t really feel like doing things. … Kind of feel hopeless, like, ‘What’s the point?'”
Wilkins is not embarrassed to talk about this struggle, about the years he has battled clinical depression and anxiety. When he decided in October to open up about his inner turmoil with local reporters, his mother cried with pride and relief.
Andrea Adelson – A graduate of the University of Florida, Adelson covers the ACC for ESPN as a Blogger and Reporter.
Before joining ESPN she covered college football for the Orlando Sentinel.
Her professional career also includes covering the Jets, track and field and sports for the Associated Press.
If you would like to know more about depression and anxiety, how to address it or where to start, visit this Healthfinder.gov site for more information.