According to a statement from Patrick McCaffery, the Iowa Hawkeye forward will take an indefinite leave of absence to address his mental health issues.

Credit: Iowa Hawkeyes
Credit: Iowa Hawkeyes    Patrick McCaffery

"I have been battling anxiety for a while, and recently it has peaked, which has inhibited my preparation and performance on the court. It’s not fair to myself or teammates to be on the court when I am not myself. The anxiety has affected my sleep, appetite, and stamina, which has resulted in not having the energy level necessary to compete at my full capabilities. My struggle with anxiety affects every aspect of my well-being and makes it incredibly difficult to function normally. This is what I am battling right now. For this reason, I am taking an indefinite leave to address my situation. It might be two games, it may be four games, it may be more, but I will return when I feel like myself. My leave of absence is not related to my past battle with cancer."

-Patrick McCaffery

So far this season, the 6-9 forward has started all 14 games and is the Hawkeyes’ third-leading scorer. He is currently averaging 12.8 points per game, but struggled the past two, shooting 2 for 15 from the field and scoring a total eight points across losses to Nebraska and Penn State. In regards to his statement, McCaffery was 13 when he was treated for thyroid cancer; this included two surgeries and he was declared cancer-free three months after his original diagnosis.

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McCaffery said in an interview last month that the removal of his thyroid caused metabolic changes requiring him to pay close attention to his nutrition and sleep habits.

Jimmy V Classic - Duke v Iowa
Credit: Getty Images Fran McCaffery

Hawkeye Men’s Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery also released a statement in regards to his sons absence saying,

"Patrick is one of the millions of people who battle through anxiety on a daily basis. It has become more noticeable on and off the court over the past couple weeks. Patrick has the full support of his family, coaches, teammates, and administration as he fights through this. All of us admire his courage and willingness to be open about this struggle and we hope others know that they are not alone. We will be with him every step of the way."

Worldwide, anxiety is estimated to affect 264 million people; per the World Health Organization’s statics from 2017. It affects 40 million adults in the United States and is the most prevalent mental disorder. In addition, between 1990 and 2013, the worldwide prevalence of all mental disorders grew by 50%, from 416 to 615 million, according to a similar WHO study from 2016.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The Iowa Hawkeyes currently sit at 8-6 overall and 0-3 in Big Ten Conference. They play at home Thursday (1/5) against #15 Indiana.

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