"I am a person with BPD," announced the Miami Dolphins' $50 million receiver Brandon Marshall on Twitter Saturday, shortly after an interview was published in which he credited a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder for "saving his life" during a notoriously tumultuous offseason.
"By no means am I all healed or fixed," the oft-troubled star told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "but it's like a light bulb's been turned on in my dark room."
Years of therapy, some of it required by the NFL after multiple off-field incidents, were not effective in helping Marshall deal with his emotions, he said.
But after an outburst during a team meeting in his first season with the Dolphins, teammate Ricky Williams suggested that the talented receiver seek help at Boston's McLean Hospital. Starting in January, Marshall spent an increasing amount of time at McLean, especially after an April altercation with his wife in which Marshall was stabbed in the abdomen.
He was eventually diagnosed with BPD after months of treatment and neurological and psychological exams, and said he now aims to be "the face" of BPD to help others who struggle -- even releasing a trailer to YouTube on Saturday documenting his struggle.
An psychological disorder characterized by impulsive actions and unstable moods, borderline personality disorder is usually marked by chaotic relationships. Factors that "seem likely" to play a role, according to the Mayo Clinic, are genetic, abandonment in childhood, abuse or neglect, and abnormalities in the brain.
Marshall informed the Dolphins of his diagnosis, he told the Sun-Sentinel, and coach Tony Sparano said in training camp that he is confident in no. 19's mindset.
"My comfort level with where Brandon is with mindset and focus right now is 100 percent outstanding. I mean like I really believe this guy's mindset is tremendous coming into camp," Sparano said. "We had a chance to visit here over the last day and really get a chance to visit with Brandon and talk. Talks were really good. He’s got a clear mind right now.”
"I've been trapped all my life," the UCF alum explains in a trailer released Saturday for 'Borderline Beast,' a documentary on his struggle. "Not by man, or cages, but by my own emotions...sometimes you have to hit rock bottom for things to dramatically change."
"I think Brandon's doing an extraordinary job with coming forth, using what he's learned to touch other people's lives who are dramatically impacted by loved ones who have borderline personality disorder," said his case manager at McLean, Jody O'Malley.
Treatment for BPD includes dialectical behavior therapy, a skills-based approach to regulating emotions, as well as group and individual therapy that is sometimes used in combination with medication that regulates associate problems such as depression, impulsivity and anxiety.
"It wasn't till I got [to McLean] that I understood why I was so unhappy, why I was so miserable," he told Kelly. "But understanding is merely the beginning of the journey."