In 2011, Brandon Marshall revealed he had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In his words, the diagnosis made sense of a lot that of damaging and self-damaging things that had happened in his personal and emotional life that had never added up: “By no means am I all healed or fixed, but it’s like a light bulb has been turned on in my dark room.”
As a National Football League receiver and married man, Brandon’s home life was brought public when his wife was charged with aggravated battery after stabbing Brandon in the stomach. The charges were later dropped, but the incident reportedly left Brandon with a need for self-reflection and intervention.
In hindsight, Marshall states that his diagnosis explains his extreme, sometimes contrasting, emotional reactions to events at home, in team practice, in post-game interviews, and other events. He equates his time in treatment with his newfound ability to maneuver his own emotions.
He was treated with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which teaches:
mindfulness – attention to the present moment and one’s current experience
interpersonal effectiveness – appropriate levels of assertiveness while taking into account the other person involved in the conversation or interaction
emotional regulation – identifying the emotion being experienced and working on keeping a neutral reaction so that your desired outcome is a realistic possibility
distress tolerance – handling difficult, uncomfortable, or undesirable situations without reacting impulsively to reduce potential regret or irreversible damage.
Brandon Marshall benefits each day from treatment that has reduced his feelings of emptiness, his heightened anger, his unintentionally exaggerated fear of abandonment, and his impulsivity. Although he did not progress to the point of drug or alcohol addiction as many diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder do, Brandon was on that path.
He did participate in dual diagnosis treatment, a program that concurrently addresses the symptoms and effects of BPD and substance abuse to lessen the grip the two conditions can have on an individual’s life.
Here is a personal testimony about dual diagnosis from Sovereign Health’s client Rob: