Brandon Brooks: I’ve been managing anxiety for years, Sunday I had a setback

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Eagles guard Brandon Brooks exited Sunday’s game because of his ongoing battle with anxiety, and on Monday he issued a statement explaining exactly what happened.

“I’d like to address what happened yesterday,” Brooks wrote. “I woke up, and did my typical routine of morning vomiting. It didn’t go away like it normally does, but I figured it would calm down once I got to the stadium. It did, but I felt exhausted. The nausea came back, and I tried to battle through it and went out for the first drive. The nausea and vomiting came back until I left the field, and tried everything I could to get back for my teammates but just wasn’t able to do it. Make no mistake I’m NOT ashamed or embarrassed by this nor what I go through daily. I’ve had this under control for a couple of years, and had a setback yesterday. The only thing I’m upset about is that when my team needed me, I wasn’t able to be out there with and for them. Lastly, I appreciate the support of my coaches, teammates and fans. It doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Eagles coach Doug Pederson said the team supports Brooks and wants to help him.

Brooks was diagnosed with stress-related anxiety in 2016 and has missed five games in his NFL career because of it. In a recent NFL Films piece, Brooks opened up about his anxiety and said he’s actively trying to beat it.

46 responses to “Brandon Brooks: I’ve been managing anxiety for years, Sunday I had a setback

  1. It’s commendable how open he is about what should be a personal and private matter. He’s one of the best RG in the league and I hope he can overcome his anxiety to achieve all of which he is capable.

  2. Brandon, you’re going to be heavily criticized. People who do not understand mental health will certainly bring up your salary as part of their criticism… as if only “poor people” are stricken with mental health.

    I am not one of them… you have my full support and wish you all the best.

  3. I had a panic attack out of nowhere at work about 15 years ago. Never had one before, never had one since. I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary and wasn’t stressed. I felt like my chest was tightening and it as hard to breath. Thought I might be having a heart attack. What your mind puts you through is worse than what your body is doing to you. I ended up getting busy at work and it took my mind off it and I was fine. It was freaky at the time though.

  4. my sister suffers from anxiety. when she suffers an attack it is debilitating. not an eagles fan, but i wish him the best in his efforts to manage it.

  5. It’s a big deal that he’s being so transparent about anxiety, and what it does to a person – specifically a football player who’s not supposed to leave the field unless they’re physically injured. Anxiety IS physical.

    Good for him.

  6. Great great person with nothing be ashamed of. Takes a strong person discuss mental illness with the stigma it carries in society. Keep fighting.

  7. As much as most fans don’t see it – NFL players (and all pro athletes) are human beings, above all else. And they have problems and battle issue just like the rest of us. All the money in the world from huge contracts and endorsement deals doesn’t prevent that.

    Brooks is one of the best OL in the league. Whether or not you’re an Eagles fan is irrelevant – you have to be rooting for this guy to be able to over-come his issue and continue to do what he does so well. Gotta love the no-nonsense way he’s dealing with this situation. Other athletes should use him as an example. The truth is always best strategy.

    100% support for you, Brandon.

  8. Take your time and work it out, young man. Panic attacks feel like a heart attack. Anxiety is a real, diagnosable illness. Once you have the tools to combat it, you can recognize the symptoms and deal appropriately.

  9. Coming from a Cowboys fan and an anxiety sufferer, this man has my full support.

    The worst part about it is knowing that so much of your potential is locked-up inside your brain around a wall of anxiety. I have thankfully been able to get mine mostly under control, but it rears its ugly head more often than I’d like.

  10. Great for him to be open, honest, and non apologetic. There is no shame in admitting that one has a disorder they are seeking help with..physical injuries may be more relateable, but mental disorders have physical ramifications as well. Good luck to him..so glad he was so transparent..helps so many others..years ago Bradshaw came out saying he suffered from depression and it helped untold thousands of people to come forward and seek treatment..me being one of those..

  11. It took a lot of courage for him to explain it, and it’s great that the team and his teammates are supporting him. Anxiety is often caused not by fear or weakness, but by the stress people place on themselves to be perfect at something. And of course the NFL is the ultimate high pressure environment where even a minor screwup can cost someone their job and haunt them forever. We’re all complicit in that as fans, given how much we love to immortalize people (Bostick, Marshall) for one mistake. Eagles should be proud to have him.

  12. I know how your feeling big man, First time I’ve ever posted anything but felt it was due. I was a search and rescue Coordinator for uscg almost 20 years ago when my anxiety took hold. I took the emergency calls and deployed help when needed. I got to the point of throwing up every morning, hands shaking so bad it was hard to open doors. Even taken to hospital with stroke level blood pressure. The hardest part my brother in anxiety was asking for help and admitting it was out of my control also the self blame and self beatings (emotional) of being weak and one of the worst in letting the team/country/community and family down in time of need. One of the best things that happened at the time was having teammates/shipmates offering all the support in the world! Take the time my friend to get help your family and teammates want only the best for you and you deserve the compassion and help!!! Much respect!
    Salty

  13. I don’t recall the broadcast team ever mentioning him not being in the game. Perhaps I missed it but wow…that line was Peters & Kelce as the only 2 starters. We all know Peters is held together by ducktape (just kidding) but fights like hell to be on the field. Get well Brandon! I had forgotten about his anxiety issue.

  14. Used to drive to work so jittery and anxious I would have to stop on the side of the road and throw up at least a couple times a week. Got to the point where I was considering just driving the car off the side of a bridge and ending it all.

    Don’t condemn this man for losing a battle; praise him for continuing to fight the war and not take the easy way out.

  15. It’s very disappointing to see so many “thumbs down” on positive comments. I’m fortunate enough to deal with Anxiety, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. 22 Veteran’s a day take their own lives because of another invisible disorder and Anxiety is a huge part of PTSD. All the “Thumbs Down” votes just shows how far we still have to go as a Country. Good luck to everyone that suffers with Mental Health. There’s a lot of people pulling for you

  16. CORRECTION: I meant to say that I am fortunate enough NOT to deal with Anxiety….

    uncommon1 says:
    November 25, 2019 at 11:30 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    It’s very disappointing to see so many “thumbs down” on positive comments. I’m fortunate enough to deal with Anxiety, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. 22 Veteran’s a day take their own lives because of another invisible disorder and Anxiety is a huge part of PTSD. All the “Thumbs Down” votes just shows how far we still have to go as a Country. Good luck to everyone that suffers with Mental Health. There’s a lot of people pulling for you

  17. kennylc2015 says:
    November 25, 2019 at 10:07 am
    Brandon, you’re going to be heavily criticized. People who do not understand mental health will certainly bring up your salary as part of their criticism… as if only “poor people” are stricken with mental health.

    I am not one of them… you have my full support and wish you all the best.
    ——————————————–
    Wow! great support for the man! Seems I remember Percy suffering from the same battles…..that “heavy criticism” you speak of was in full effect….I wonder why.

  18. hailtothenamechange says:
    November 25, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Everyone all sappy for this guy. What was your take when McNabb puked in the Super Bowl huddle?
    ……………………….

    McNabb knew that at that moment in time he was being exposed to the nation , that he wasn’t who he thought he was .

  19. I had a panic attack years ago. My chest tightened,I couldn’t breath and I thought I was going to pass out. Went straight to urgent care. Everything came out normal. Followed up with my doctor and he said most likely it was a panic attack. I couldn’t believe it. Something like that could be that physically debilitating. If I didn’t go through one myself I don’t think I would understand how bad it could be. I use to think you could just calm yourself down and wonder why people didn’t do that.

  20. I am not an Eagles fan, but that has to be horrible for this guy. He never knows
    when he is going to have an attack.
    people on here need to be a little more sympathetic, this is an illness.

  21. Anxiety disorder is no joke. I know several people that battle it and when they get a major attack, they say it is like having a heart attack. Can’t believe all of the people with the thumbs down and snarky comments. Sad. Hopefully they don’t exhibit the same behavior to family and/or friends who may be battling any sort of mental illness.

    This story transcends football.

  22. Thanks you to Brooks for sharing his story. It helps to combat the negative stigma that still exists regarding mental health issues.

  23. I also have stress and anxiety induced vomiting. I’m a graduate student and an adjunct professor and it makes dealing with ordinary tasks very difficult. Almost every day I am managing classes and teaching while also calibrating for the fact that I have spent much of the day and night throwing up. I meditate, do yoga and watch my diet but nothing seems to help. It is both a physical and mental struggle, and I commend Brandon for engaging in a discussion about the issue.

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