“I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamed of. Not only did I become a Pro Bowl player, I became one of the highest-paid football receivers. I graduated from college and am pursuing a master’s degree. I am married to a beautiful, educated woman. I have a dream home, two nice cars, and three beautiful dogs. But I haven’t enjoyed one part of it. And it’s hard for me to understand why.”
Brandon Marshall is a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins. He has received for more than 1,000 yards in his last six seasons. He’s only been in the league seven. He holds the record for most receptions in a single game, 21. He went to three Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2009.
“People say football players have to be able to turn the switch on and off between thinking and reacting, but there has never been a switch for me. It’s always been impulsivity and just reaction. It made me who I am today. I appreciate it, my strengths, but they have also ruined me.”
Off field problems tarnished the early years of Marshall’s career. He was charged with violent domestic crimes and a DUI.
In 2011 he received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is probably one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses. Largely because the disorder causes acutely emotional instability. This leads to destructive interpersonal behavior and impulsivity, often resulting in reckless sexually behavior, violent tendencies, and extreme manipulative behavior. However, with no signs of psychosis (a disconnect from reality) it is very difficult to diagnose. Those with BPD don’t have control of their emotions and actions when suffering symptoms.
Internally people living with BPD are full of self-hatred, feelings of worthlessness. 8-10 % of those living with BPD die from suicide.
The treatment for BPD is very expensive and difficult. It takes a mix of medicine and long-term therapy. There is also an extremely high percentage of remission. Marshall reportedly spent $60,000 on his diagnosis and treatment.
“Today I am making myself vulnerable to help others who suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD). I have seen my life with BPD and how it played out. My goal is to walk the halls of Congress to fight for the insurance coverage for this, and walk the halls of the National Institute of Mental Health to raise the awareness of this disorder. That is my mission moving forward. I love the game, but it’s not my priority anymore. Today my journey begins. I want to be the face of BPD.”