Football players are not immune from the growing mental health issues in modern society. NFL players are seen as bastions of strength and determination, but many of them face battle personal issues behind the scenes.
One of the best ways to combat the issue is to reduce the stigma by talking about it, which is why Trey Burton opened up about his battle with anxiety.
In a blog post for The Increase, the Bears tight end discussed his upbringing and revealed the mental health issue he dealt with during his college career.
“The main reason I became highly anxious was because all I cared about was football; all I wanted to do was perform at a high level,” Burton wrote. “If we had a bad game … man, you didn’t want to come anywhere near me. It really affected my anger.”
It wasn’t until he came to Florida to play college football that he really realized it was a problem. He was asked to change positions multiple times after being recruited as a quarterback, and it wasn’t until his junior year that he found some inner peace.
“By refocusing my thoughts and feelings,” Burton wrote, “I was able to reshape my entire football career.”
He became religious that year and started opening up more to his girlfriend, who is now his wife. The following season, he found a home at wide receiver and had a career-high 38 catches and 445 receiving yards.
Burton still went undrafted in the NFL, but five years later, he’s happy and content with where life has taken him, and he’s ready for all the pressure of a premier role in the new Bears offense.