Former NFL Quarterback Opens up About Bipolar Disorder and Self-Medicating

Bi Polar

It is no secret that sports stars struggle with addiction and mental illness as well – the pressure to succeed places many people in a position to abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a way to cope with their feelings. Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel is no exception – he recently opened up about him having bipolar disorder and his way of coping with his symptoms. Johnny told GMA,

At the end of the day I can’t help that my wires are a little bit differently crossed than yours, I can’t help my mental makeup of the way I was created”.

Manziel spoke on several different occasions about the depressive episodes that he would have, and how this led to him drinking. He stated that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a year ago, and that he thought drinking was making him happy when in reality, it wasn’t. He explained,

But at the end of the day, when you’re left, staring at a ceiling by yourself, and you’re back in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself and being super depressed and thinking about all the mistakes you’ve made in your life”.

Manziel expressed his regret for struggling with alcoholism, but he plans to move forward and continue with his recovery. He stated,

What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgrace? I went a solid five months until I really fell back into a little depression where I didn’t drink, but still I was going to therapy. The difference that I know this year is I started looking at my mental health”.

When we’re in that state of depression or moments of distress, it can be difficult to do some introspection and discover what’s causing the decline in our mental health. As with Manziel, it took this event to cause him to really seek help and find out what was going on with him – in doing so, he learned of his bipolar disorder and has been seeking therapy since. Make the decision to stay active with your mental health. Make adjustments if needed. Your happiness depends on it.

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