September 5, 2014
Former NFL Star Keith O’Neil Opens Up About His Struggles With Bipolar Disorder

Former NFL star Keith O'Neil has publicly disclosed his struggle with bipolar disorder and has been able to raise public awareness and provide help to others like him.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by intense shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, etc. There is no cure for bipolar disorder, but it can be treated over the long-term with medications, mood stabilizers, and psychotherapy. If not treated properly, bipolar disorder could lead to severe depression, insomnia, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm.

O'Neil has been very open about his experience with the having bipolar disorder. "I was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 4 years ago, so I really, in the past year, have gotten healthy. It's taken me some time," O'Neil explained. "Within the locker room and complex it's not really talked about, so it's not that different compared with society."

O'Neil did seek help from his coach Tony Dungy when he played for the Colts due to his difficulty sleeping before a big game. In 2007, he won the Super Bowl with the Colts, and retired thereafter and founded the 4th and Forever Foundation, an organization "dedicated to assisting those living with and affected by mental health conditions, through programs that raise awareness, promote education and fund research to alleviate mental illness."

Speaking from his personal experience of bipolar disorder, O'Neil says "Finding the right medications along with my faith has made all the difference in the world. My mission is to educate people."

According to a report from Inquisitr News, O'Neil isn't the only one struggling with bipolar disorder. Demi Lovato, a famous pop artist, says that the illness is part of who she is. Lovato is also trying to educate the world about mental illnesses.

To further his goals, O'Neil will be delivering a keynote speech on Tuesday, September 16th at Discovery to Recovery: A Path to Health Minds at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center. "The focus and purpose of the conference is to try to provide information that is useful right now to family members, other loved ones and to the patients themselves, so they can have the best possible way to ensure a productive, happy life," explained Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Those who are interested may attend or stream O'Neil's speech. Those who want to help can also donate to O'Neil's 4th and Forever Foundation to better research of bipolar disorder.