Tennessee Titans star wide receiver A.J. Brown took to Instagram on Friday night to open up about his recent battle with depression.
In a video post, Brown revealed he thought about taking his own life a year ago from Friday. He urged people to "take depression seriously" and to protect their mental health.
"I'm kind of nervous even to be saying this, but a year ago from today, I thought about taking my own life," Brown said. "I had no more hope for better days and everything was just going wrong for me. The reason why I'm sharing this message today to you is I'm still here. I'm still going. I'm still smiling. I've got a lot of things to be grateful for.
"I just want to encourage everyone to protect your mental. Talk to someone. Get things off your chest. Do things that make you happy. It's so important. I didn't think depression was real until it happened to me. But now I know it's really real."
For the caption of the post, Brown wrote: "Depression is real, anxiety is real. Be there for someone because someone was there for me. God told him all the right things to say to me that night. Take depression seriously. Take how you feel and how you handle situations seriously. Life happens to all of us but you're not too tough to talk to someone and get things off your chest. Life is a beautiful thing and everyone should be able to live it to the fullest."
Brown, 24, is a former second-round pick in his third NFL season. He joins a couple of other NFL players who have recently revealed their mental health struggles.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced in late October he was stepping away from football to focus on his "mental wellbeing." Philadelphia Eagles three-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson opened up about his battle with anxiety and depression after missing three straight games in October.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741, anytime.