Delonte West, Bipolar Disorder and the Judicial System

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

As a Mavericks junkie, I follow the majority of sports blogs as well as players and personnel on Twitter. One of the many Mavericks I follow is Delonte West, one of the newest faces in the organization.

On the outside, Delonte West is a tatted man who carries a rough and tough attitude. But, on the inside, he’s struggling with past issues that is highlighted by Bipolar Disorder.

Following non-basketball related questions asked by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, West took his frustrations to Twitter over the weekend. West said he didn’t like being viewed as a “sideshow” because of his past troubles. In 2009, West was arrested after police found guns in a guitar case during a traffic stop. West also tweeted that because of his past, he was unable to qualify for an apartment and has been sleeping in his car or in the American Airlines Center team facilities. He also is unhappy about his pay because of all the fees his salary goes toward paying. The next day, his tweets were deleted and he was apologizing to the Mavericks organization, fans and media.

Because of his past record, West was not allowed to travel with the Dallas Mavericks to the White House to meet the President. Instead, he went home to see his family (in the D.C. area).

Personally, I feel awful for Delonte West. This guy needs a hug! And some help. His 2009 arrest was a cry for help, as he disappeared mid-season from the Cavs. The medicine he takes causes drowsiness, which is the reason he was pulled over. Bipolar Disorder causes people to suffer from short-term bouts of manic depression. These periods can last up to a week. Any other time, the person acts and functions normally. West simply was going through a bout of depression in 2009 and that small bout changed his life forever.

So, from now on, West won’t be allowed to meet the President when his team wins the NBA title, an honor NBA players dream of. But, even bigger than that, West can’t find a home. Many people think being a professional athlete brings a glamorous lifestyle. Delonte West is a sad example of that not always being true. He isn’t crazy. He can’t help he suffers from a sometimes debilitating disorder.

What boggles me is that the judicial system came down so hard on him. I understand he had guns on him, but is he really expected to hop from one hotel to another the rest of his life? He wasn’t planning on using the guns or to kill anyone. This one mistake has changed his life and there’s nothing West can do to change it. Instead of moving on from the incident, West is continuously reminded of his past and the things it hampers him from doing.

It hurts my heart to see people struggle like this. I wish there was a program people could go through in order to work through their problems and then to have the infraction removed from their record. If the person has learned his/her lesson, why should they have to suffer because of it the rest of their life?

Delonte West is in my thoughts and prayers. The  man is obviously suffering and hurting and needs some lifting up and encouraging words. Although hiis life and personal well-being comes before his career, I hope basketball is a great therapy for him and will keep him on the straight and narrow.

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