Jameis Winston Is Screaming Out For Help

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PC: TMZ.com

PC: TMZ.com

Jameis Winston has been caught shoplifting crab legs and was suspended from the FSU baseball team while facing potential legal consequences.  He has been the butt of many jokes on the Internet and has provided a plethora of material for comedians.

But this is not a joke, Winston is at high risk he needs treatment and he needs it now!

Winston needs psychological and psychiatric evaluations– plain and simple.  Once again we have an athlete whose mental health should be put front and center.

As is often the case with athletes who exhibit abhorrent behaviors their actions are too often swept under the rug, or ignored until it is too late.

We should not be debating whether Winston can play football and baseball at the same time, or where he is going to be selected in the draft.  Winston needs treatment and he needs it now!

Aldon Smith is a prime example of not paying attention to behaviors that screamed “I need help”– and look at what has happened to Smith.

Winston was at the center of a national firestorm when he was accused of raping another college student. But after an investigation that many found lacking in credibility, Winston was not charged and then went on to win the Heisman Trophy.

His current action is not befitting that of a Heisman Trophy winner nonetheless a mentally stable individual.

It has been my experience that people commit crimes for a myriad of reasons. People who repeatedly steal often feel emotionally empty so the object of their desire is an attempt for them to emotionally compensate and bolster their self-concept.

Many experience a thrill or surge of emotion at the thought of stealing, while they are in the process of the theft, and when and if they are actually successful.

People who steal may also have an obsessive compulsive disorder where they experience an overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to engage in an act.

And finally people who steal may have personality disorders.

In short, a personality disorder is part of a group of mental health conditions where a person exhibits a long term pattern of behaviors, emotions and thoughts that are very different from their cultural expectations.

Make no mistake about it; there was absolutely no reason for Winston to shoplift anything. When emotion over-rules cognition it is a sure sign that something is wrong.

Hopefully those who are close to Winston will urge him to get help. It is within a judge’s purview to request psychological and psychiatric evaluations for those accused of committing crimes and perhaps that will be the case with Winston.

At this point it would also be in the best interests of any NFL team that is thinking of drafting Winston to require him to have these evaluations.

It is my guess that Winston who is too valuable a property will not get the full mental health services he requires, and that would be one huge mistake.

It is a mistake that those in the world of sport continue to make at the peril of those who are left untreated– but why should they care?