There has never been a doubt as to what Brandon Marshall can do on the football field. It was off the field where it seemed that a black cloud was hanging over him. He has had run ins with the law and the strange incident last year where it was alleged that his wife, Michi Nogami-Marshall had stabbed him in the abdomen (charges have since been dropped).
Marshall was also there the night Denver Broncos teammate Darrent Williams was fatally shot outside a Denver night club. It is rumored that the shooting was retaliation to an incident earlier in the evening involving Marshall’s cousin. That night has haunted Marshall and it is believed that he was traded to Miami in part because he needed to get out of Denver.
Now an admission that may shed some light on why Marshall has had these problems. In a story by Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Marshall admits he was diagnosed with, and has been receiving treatement for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
After three months of treatment and therapy, psychological and neurological exams at Boston’s McLean Hospital, the training ground for Harvard University medical students, Marshall believes he’s finally at the root of his struggles.
He has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, or BPD.
“BPD is a well understood psychological disorder. It’s not a form of misbehavior,” said Mary Zanarini, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, who treated Marshall this summer.
BPD is a mental illness that studies say is more common than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but is rarely diagnosed because of misperceptions in the mental health community, and the challenges of providing a proper treatment plan.
The disorder is marked by difficulties with relationships and self-image and controlling moods and emotions.
During Marshall’s treatment at McLean, he learned how to defuse the bomb inside of his head. Now with the tools and a new perspective he’s returning to the real world, to the NFL, to a marriage he admittedly broke, and to a wife who feels vilified. He must use the skills he’s learned to survive, if not thrive.
Much like teammate Ricky Williams’ admission of his own battle with social anxiety disorder, this news will be met with a sideways glance. There are fans out there who will read this admission as a sign of weakness or as an excuse to forgive past behaviors. The truth is, most of those fans don’t see Marshall as anything more than a line of statistics on their fantasy football team. They don’t realize that what he does is only one part of who he is, and who he is, is a human being trying to fix his problems and become a better person.
After the story broke, Marshall tweeted the following expressing just that:
Dolphins fans are entitled to selfishly root for him to get 100 receptions and 15 touchdowns and make a quarterback out of Chad Henne on the way to the playoffs, but they should also be rooting for him to overcome these problems.
And maybe along the way, his admission will help other people who are suffering through something similar in their lives.
Here is the trailer for the upcoming Brandon Marshall Documentary documenting his struggles titled “Borderline Beast”