WELLNESS
09/05/2014 06:17 pm ET Updated Sep 08, 2014

Brandon Marshall Tackles Stigma Of Mental Illness In The NFL

In our culture, being masculine often means not being vulnerable; this is especially true in the NFL, where it seems players must act like stone-faced warriors to survive unscathed. But Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has weaknesses, and he isn't afraid to talk about them.

In this video from GQ, Marshall opens up about his struggle with mental illness in hopes of galvanizing the conversation around mental health in the NFL so that players don't have to live in fear of being tormented by teammates.

"We have to break the stigma," Marshall says in the video. "And it starts with creating the conversation."

Although he proved himself a powerful player during his first seasons in the NFL, Marshall's life, off the field, was filled with arrests, violence and more. In 2011, Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental illness "characterized by a persistent instability of emotions, behaviors, and relationships," the video notes.

Since then, Marshall has opened up about his challenges and come out as an advocate for ending the culture of silence around mental health in the NFL.

Earlier this year, Marshall also gave $1 million to mental health care initiatives.

"I worked hard to conquer [BPD], and I made it," he says in the video. "But how many other people are out there...suffering in silence?"

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