Houston Rockets rookie forward Royce White has been absent from team activities due to disagreements over how to handle his anxiety disorder, and the Rockets have announced that they will begin fining him for each day that he misses. The Rockets have made travel accommodations for White, who has a fear of flying, and scheduled appointments for him with Dr. Aaron Fink of the Baylor College of Medicine, according to the Houston Chronicle. But White, who has not been meeting with Fink, believes he is not receiving proper support from the Rockets franchise and refuses to risk his own mental health by playing under circumstances he deems unfit for his mental well-being.

White had been especially candid in interviews leading up to the NBA draft addressing the severity of his anxiety disorder. “Panic attacks, it’s like you have one and you’re susceptible to another one,” White said in a documentary short for Grantland. “Your mind races and your adrenaline starts to pump, and then that adrenaline is so powerful it makes your heart beat fast. So then that sends it back to your mind, and then your mind’s like, ‘Oh man, my heart is beating.’ And then you panic on top of panic on top of panic. It feels like you’re dying.”

He has since been wondering if it was the right move, releasing the following statement through his publicist. "In hindsight, perhaps it was not a good idea to be open and honest about my anxiety disorder," he said, "due to the current situations at hand that involve the nature of actions from the Houston Rockets. As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress, but since [the] preseason, the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship."

A superstar high school prospect out of Minnesota, White was suspended for his entire freshmen season at the University of Minnesota due to disciplinary reasons. He eventually transferred to Iowa State and had to sit out for the 2010-11 season. However, last season, his first full season in college basketball, White led the Iowa State Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament, received numerous accolades, and became the only player in the country to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.


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He has taken to Twitter, @Highway_30, to voice his concerns, where some followers have ridiculed him and told him to “hang himself” while others have lauded him as a “hero” for speaking out about mental illness. “Staying QUIET, because its 'less sticky' is the greatest enemy of #Honesty and #Transparency. For MY anxiety it helps to be honest. #MyCure," he tweeted.

See the video below of White talking about his anxiety on NBA draft night.

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