It isn’t easy coming to grips with mental illness, especially when doing so under the watchful eyes of millions of onlookers. Rather than concealing their struggles, some brave celebrities, athletes, and political figures have chosen to share their stories.
On August 2, 2011, Brandon Marshall, NFL wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins, announced his struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The revelation came months after a domestic dispute that resulted in a stab wound to his abdomen. Together, his agent and assistant staged the intervention that helped save his life and his career.
Although Marshall knew something was wrong, he didn’t know what.
“For so long, I’ve been just trying to get help. I’ve been seeking help,” Marshall said in an interview with the Associated Press. “I’ve been talking with doctors since I’ve been in the NFL. No one has ever helped me. So I was praying there was a treatment out there for what I suffered from and there was.”
Rather than hiding in the shadows or cowering behind the stigma of the disorder, Marshall spent three months in treatment for borderline personality disorder. He allowed a videographer to capture his experience for a documentary called Borderline Beast.
“Right now, today, I am vulnerable,” Marshall told the Associated Press. “I am making myself vulnerable. And I want it to be clear that this is the opposite of damage control. The only reason why I’m standing here today is to use my story to help others who may suffer from what I suffer from.”
Marshall’s story is empowering millions of sports fans to seek help for borderline personality disorder and turn their lives around. As many as 25 percent of Americans suffer from a mental health disorder; millions need treatment but never seek help.
Being honest about one’s struggles with borderline personality disorder isn’t easy. But it is honesty that reminds us that – celebrity or not – mental illness affects millions of lives. Marshall’s message is one of hope. If a football star can admit to having a problem and needing help, you can, too.