NFL Star Brandon Marshall & His Courageous Fight For Better Mental Health

Brandon MarshallCurrent NY Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall is known as much for his headline-grabbing troubles off the field as he is for his standout play on it. If he has his way, he’s about to be famous for something else entirely.

In a press conference, Marshall told reporters that he suffers from borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental illness marked by intense anger, impulsivity, and turbulent interpersonal relationships.

The 32-year-old wide receiver—who received his diagnosis this spring, after seeking treatment at McLean Hospital, in Belmont, Mass.—told reporters he wants to be the “face” of BPD. “My purpose moving forward is to raise awareness of this disorder—how it not only affects the patient but the families and the people in the community,” he said.

Marshall certainly has his work cut out for him. Although an estimated 2% of U.S. adults are affected by the disorder, it remains poorly understood, even among mental health professionals.

That’s partly because the symptoms of BPD can look a lot like those of other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. (The term “borderline,” in fact, arose because psychiatrists originally conceived of BPD as occupying the border between psychosis and neurosis, two broad categories of mental illness that aren’t as widely used today.)