Keyon Dooling suddenly retired from the NBA this offseason, citing the rising pressure of past sexual abuse. Now the veteran Boston Celtics guard is opening up about his experience with abuse and how it led to post-traumatic stress disorder, a stay in a psychiatric hospital this summer, and ultimately his decision to leave the NBA.
When Keyon Dooling announced his retirement this summer, he said that years of suppressing sexual abuse had caught up with him and that he needed a change in his life. Now Dooling is sharing more details about the experience, telling David Aldridge of NBA.com that hallucinations and related issues brought on by PTSD led him to a stay in a psychiatric hospital.
Aldridge wrote about the incredible stress Dooling was under as he suppressed the abuse. He relates a story about when a neighbor called the police on Dooling, who the person thought was playing too rough with his children:
“The Doolings were new to the neighborhood. They know the police were just doing their job, responding to a call. But a bunch of cops showing up, unannounced, banging on your door is a little disconcerting.
“So I ran to the door to see what was going on,” Keyon Dooling said. “I was like, ‘Who is this knocking like they’re the damn police?’ That’s what I said to myself. So when I got to the door, it was really the police. They was like, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground!’ So I got on the ground.” [...]
“Dooling was taken away and hospitalized for evaluation. He didn’t remember voluntarily signing into the hospital. The details are hazy, in part, because he was immediately put on medication. One of the primary symptoms of PTSD is paranoia, and Dooling was surely paranoid. He didn’t want to see anybody — or anybody to see him.”
Keyon Dooling is now using his fame as a platform to talk about sexual abuse, appearing in an interview with Katie Couric to talk about his experience and how it can help others.