Brian Dawkins Reveals Early Depression, Suicidal Thoughts

The soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer opens up about his struggle with depression during his early career.

July 30, 2018

Brian Dawkins is an immediately-recognizable name in the world of pro-sports, thanks to his lengthy career that includes 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and three with the Denver Broncos...not to mention an impending Hall-of-Fame induction.

He is a very paragon of strength and grit, so you might be surprised that he is...like us...only human.

In an interview with NBC Sports, Dawkins revealed that he had struggled with his mental health during his rookie season, and extending throughout his professional career.  A perfect storm of pressure...the demands of defensive coordinator, Emmitt Thomas, a new marriage, a colicky baby...combined to bring Dawkins into a period of clinical depression.  

Said Dawkins, "I went through a real dark, deep depression. Alcohol was a tremendous crutch. There were times I didn't even want to be around my family, didn't want to be around my son.  I just wanted to be in a dark room by myself with nobody."

He even battled thoughts of suicide, mentally planning methods that would allow his wife and son to collect on his life insurance.  

Thankfully, Emmitt Thomas and his wife saw the dark hole into which Dawkins' life had fallen, and encouraged him to get treatment.  

It's not the therapy or medication that Dawkins credits for making him who he is today, though.  That, he believes, is nothing but his faith.

He commented, "I rededicated my life. Being able to deal with that through my renewed faith. Going to more and more bible studies. Giving my life over to the Lord, completely helped me go on to become the athlete I became and the person I became."

You can see the full interview at 6:30 p.m. on August 1 on NBC.  Dawkins' fight against, and victory over, his depression is something to be recognized...as is the place of peace in which he now resides.  You'll be seeing Brian Dawkins, and the other members of the Class of 2018, inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 4th at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.