Royce White on mental illness: 'There's a subtle war'

Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The recently reinstated rookie opened up about what it's like to live with an illness that no one seems to recognize as serious.

Houston Rockets forward Royce White recently spoke to Grantland in a lengthy interview that was part of a series on his journey to the NBA while dealing with a mental illness.

For more on the Houston Rockets, visit The Dream Shake

White suffers from an anxiety disorder that has led to a back-and-forth with the Rockets on his treatment. His ailment causes him to get nervous about anything from flying to watching others text and drive on the freeway.

The team has made concessions for him in order to ease his symptoms. For example, they've made arrangements for him to be driven to close away games rather than fly with the team. Still, White is doing what he can to shed light on an issue that he feels both Houston and the rest of the NBA have failed to address, even though it runs rampant in the league and in everyday society.

The amount of American adults who suffer from a diagnosable mental illness is roughly 26 percent, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. White believes that figure is misleading when it comes to NBA players:

The amount of NBA players with mental health disorders is way over 26 percent. My suggestion would be to ask David Stern how many players in the league he thinks have a marijuana problem. Whatever number he gives you, that's the number with mental illness. A chemical imbalance is a mental illness.

So with the problem growing, and the NBA not doing enough, it's worth wondering what the next steps are. White is an advocate for this issue that affects NBA players, their families and many others, but he alone can't solve the problem.

It will take more players like White, Metta World Peace and others to step forward and explain that these problems exist, even though onlookers can't see them.

So because it's so rampant, is mental illness actually normal?

That doesn't make it normal. This is based on science. If there was a flu epidemic, and 60 percent of the country had the flu, it wouldn't make it normal ... the problem is growing, and it's growing because there's a subtle war - in America, and in the world - between business and health. It's no secret that 2 percent of the human population controls all the wealth and the resources, and the other 98 percent struggle their whole life to try and attain it. Right? And what ends up happening is that the 2 percent leave the 98 percent to struggle and struggle and struggle, and they eventually build up these stresses and conditions.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.