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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 08/01/2011

Brandon Marshall reveals he has borderline personality disorder


Brandon Marshall went public about his borderline personality disorder Sunday. (J Pat Carter / AP)
Brandon Marshall knows he has it all: NFL riches, a smart, lovely wife, a beautiful home, a great life — everything anyone could want. But it wasn’t enough. It was never enough.

“I haven't enjoyed not one part of it, and it's hard for me to understand why,” Marshall, 27, said. He grew increasingly unhappy and, after an altercation with his wife Michi Nogami-Marshall in April caused him to be hospitalized with a stab wound and her to be jailed, it was time to find out what was happening.

The answer is that the Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver has borderline personality disorder and, instead of concealing that fact, he’s choosing to “be the face of BPD.” Marshall talked publicly about it over the weekend, telling the Sun-Sentinel: “I'll make myself vulnerable if it saves someone's life because I know what I went through this summer helped save mine.”

Marshall had had counseling several times before. This time, at the suggestion of Dolphins teammate Ricky Williams, Marshall sought help at McLean Hospital in Boston. “This is the most stigmatized disorder out there, but yet it's very treatable and with the right help, the right treatment program, the right treaters, one diagnosed with BPD, can live a healthy, effective, peaceful life,” Marshall said.

Through treatment, he is learning to handle his feelings and emotions. “By no means am I all healed or fixed,” he said, “but it’s like a light bulb’s been turned on in my dark room.”

BPD is rarely diagnosed; it is marked by difficulties with relationships, poor self-image and difficulty controlling moods and emotions. Marshall has spoken about his troubled childhood and abandonment and abuse can contribute to BPD. “BPD is a well understood psychological disorder," Mary Zanarini, a Harvard Medical School psychology professor who treated Marshall, said. “It's not a form of misbehavior.”

Marshall met daily with clinicians and fellow BPD patients. “Any time there’s conflict it’s a challenge,” Marshall said. “What I’m feeling or trying to get across is right, but I’m reacting wrong. My actions or what I’m saying is not effective or productive and it makes the situation worse.”

His role as the face of BPD involves a movie: “Brandon Marshall: Borderline Beast.”

“It wasn’t ’til I got here that I understood why I was so unhappy, why I was so miserable,” Marshall said. “But understanding is merely the beginning of the journey.”

I've made myself vulnerable to the world not for sympathy, but to help others who are suffering with BPD. http://t.co/ZsOmwQeless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

By  |  11:20 AM ET, 08/01/2011

 
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