Joe Barksdale opens up about his severe depression in hopes of helping others

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Joe Barksdale has severe depression and considered suicide as recently as three months ago. The Chargers right tackle decided to share his story in hopes of helping others.

“If I could save another person, maybe that’s why the attempts [to harm myself] didn’t work,” Barksdale told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

Barksdale, 29, was physically, emotionally and sexually abused as a child, he told Woike, and he has fought his demons since. He calls his severe depression the “monkey” on his back and now takes medication and attends therapy to make it day by day.

He also has turned to music, learning to play the guitar and recently released his first album, “Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeams.”

“Some days, you can talk yourself out of it. Some days, you can’t. Some days, it just feels impossible,” Barksdale said. “This is who I am. I am as depressed as I am black.”

In November, Barksdale cried in the training room after finding out he would miss the next game against Jacksonville after injuring his foot in a fight with a teammate. When he got home, Barksdale said he picked up a knife. His wife, Brionna, talked him out of killing himself.

“If I let myself get sad, like really sad, it can go really bad places — like I could not be here tomorrow,” Barksdale said.

10 responses to “Joe Barksdale opens up about his severe depression in hopes of helping others

  1. It’s not your fault, Joe! Being able to live another day is a great thing; be as proud of yourself as you are black! You should be, for being so open and sharing your story with others. A standing round of applause for you, sir!

  2. Horrifying to think about from an outsider’s perspective. Hope he gets the help he needs and finds life worth living during and after football.

  3. Stay in counseling. Go on meds if you need to. Live in the moment. Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Go easy on yourself.

  4. You are loved more than you know. Depression is a thief and a liar, always ask for help when you need it.

  5. @trubroncfan07. You are the most ignorant, judgemental, uninformed insensitive jerk on the planet. Wow. Barksdale, like MILLIONS of other Americans who struggle with this disease, is perfectly capable of performing his job, as much as someone with sickle cell or diabetes. May you never find yourself in that dark place.

  6. JB. My wife is in the same situation. Please, for your Wife and family, continue with your therapy and meds it can, and will get better. Just remember that you cannot control what happens to you but you can control how you react.
    It WILL get better.

  7. No detriment to Barksdale…depression is awful. It however, accentuates Tolesco’s massive mistake in not taking Ryan Ramczyc, offensive tackle last draft. He was sitting there and Tolesco passed him up for the fragile Mike Williams. Pathetic. He also dumped Josh Lambo for Koo, the trick kicker who Kan’t and Eric Weddle as well.. These are after-the-fact ‘fixes’ the Chargers are required to do before drafting to build the over-all team. It represents management weaknesses that go on year after year. With these massive screw-up the Chargers are always chasing team wins instead of dominating. See?

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