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Percy Harvin opens up about battle with anxiety

It’s the first time he’s talked openly about the matter

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for Percy Harvin to make an impact with the Minnesota Vikings. After the team drafted him in 2009, he became the second member of the team in a three-year stretch to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year (joining Adrian Peterson in 2007). During the four years he was with the Vikings, he was one of the league’s most dynamic players, scoring 29 touchdowns. . .20 through the air, four on the ground, and five in the return game.

Unfortunately, he had a pretty ugly falling out with the team which, reportedly, included throwing weights at coaches and screaming at head coach Leslie Frazier. The Vikings eventually traded him to the Seattle Seahawks for multiple draft picks, including the first-round selection that became cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and Harvin never really recaptured the spark that made him such a special player in Minnesota.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Harvin is opening up for the first time about a bunch of subjects, including an anxiety disorder that was largely the cause of the migraine headaches that plagued Harvin throughout his career.

“The best way I can describe it is that I felt ‘out of body,’” he says of a typical episode. “My heart would be going, I’d be sweating, I felt like everybody in the room was looking at me. My speech was slurring. I didn’t wanna eat. I was gasping for air. You’re so worked up that it’s hard to spit words out.” Inspired by NBA stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan, who have spoken out recently about their anxiety issues, Harvin wants to join them in saying, It’s O.K. to be not O.K.

The interview is certainly worth your time to read. There’s a snippet of a video interview with Harvin at the story linked above, and that’s also a part of an SI TV “Where Are They Now” series that you can find on Amazon.

I know that many of us, myself included, wish that things with Harvin would have worked out better with the Vikings than they did, but it is nice to see him getting his life back in order and that he’s doing what he can to help people that may be suffering with some form of anxiety as well.