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Dontrelle Willis' anxiety disorder questioned

Jun 8, 2009, 8:29 AM EDT

A few weeks ago I questioned Dontrelle Willis’ diagnosis (and subsequent DL stint) of social anxiety disorder.
My basis? Nothing scientific or anything — I’m certainly no doctor –
just the words Willis used to describe how he felt, which didn’t sound
a thing like that which you would expect from someone suffering from an
anxiety disorder. Stuff like “I was just playing bad” and “Even when I
went on the DL, I felt fine.” Turns out I’m not the only skeptic:

While few doubt the pressure of playing at the major league level,
at least one mental-health professional raised an eyebrow at the
growing number of social anxiety disorder diagnoses.

“I’m very suspicious of that diagnosis,” said Dr. Allan Lans, a
psychiatrist who practices in New York and has worked with athletes
throughout his career, most notably as a member of the Mets’ staff.
“It’s not like catching the chickenpox; there has to be a history.”

Lans goes on to talk about how rare it would be for someone with a
Major League career path to only begin experiencing the disorder after
making the big leagues. Especially so long after making the big leagues
like Willis and Khalil Greene.

This Lans fellow is only one doctor, and sure, what one doctor says
isn’t determinative of anything, but it certainly makes me wonder about
these diagnoses.

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