NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall isn’t a stranger to playing football in front of thousands of people. But when it came to sharing his story about being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and receiving BPD treatment, his emotions caused him to repeatedly fumble.
During last week’s National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) conference on diagnosing and treating adolescents and young adults with BPD in White Plains, N.Y., Marshall gave an emotional keynote speech describing how he wasn’t always able to enjoy his successes.
“I broke a lot of records – Pro Bowl MVP, signed a $50 million contract, my wife and I have a beautiful home (it’s our dream home), a beautiful vehicle I drive every day – and I didn’t enjoy any of it,” he said. “To have all of that and to achieve your goals, it was frightening that I wasn’t able to enjoy it.”
Marshall said that through BPD treatment, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mentalization-based Therapy, mindfulness, and other therapies, he is finally able to appreciate his successes.
“The resentment and anger I had in certain areas of my life turned me into a ticking time bomb. When I got the proper help, I saw things totally different,” he said. “It was a hard process, it was painful at times, but it was also exciting. I understand myself more, I understand people more.”
Marshall publicly announced his BPD diagnosis last year. Marshall, who is a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins, was traded to the Chicago Bears, in a deal announced today.
Marshall created Project Borderline to help educate people about Borderline Personality Disorder, raise awareness of BPD, and help people gain access to the resources that they need to recover. He also hopes to bridge the gap between patients, clinicians, and family members.
“The more it goes untreated, the worse it gets, and it can be devastating at times,” Marshall said. “We can beat Borderline Personality Disorder with the proper help and the proper treatment. If we can save one life, we’re happy.”
For more on Project Borderline, go to www.projectborderline.com. To see a video of Brandon Marshall’s keynote speech, visit the NEA-BPD’s website at www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com.