Mark Rypien is a former Super Bowl MVP and went 52-34 in his 11-year NFL career. The former quarterback’s life off the field has not gone as swimmingly, and Rypien wonders whether multiple concussions in football played a part.
“People think you have to be knocked out to have a concussion,” Rypien told The Spokesman-Review, via the Associated Press. “There are hundreds of times you shake it off and get back in there. It’s all about the cumulative hits. That’s what cause brain damage.”
Rypien, 55, said he has attempted suicide and suffers from persistent depression, anxiety and isolation. He once left a 20-minute audio suicide message, he said, and another time his wife, Danielle, found Rypien after he swallowed 150 Advil with a bottle of wine.
“It was the thought that people aren’t going to miss me,” Rypien said. “I was shameful and guilty of poor decisions, shameful and guilty of being depressed all the time. I didn’t want to be around anymore.”
Rypien, who spent six seasons with Washington, hopes his story helps others.
“My story is impactful because people see me in a different light. I want them to see me in an accurate light,” Rypien said. “I’ve been down the darkest path. I’ve made some horrible, horrible mistakes. But I’ve given myself a chance to progress forward.”