Former NFL offensive lineman Kyle Turley has contemplated suicide and is concerned about his long-term mental health after suffering concussions duringt his NFL career.
Turley, 37, told UT-San Diego that he is taking medication for his suicidal thoughts. He blames his mental state on repeated head trauma in the NFL.
"No one in my family has ever gone crazy and killed themselves or thought about that. I have," Turley said. "It's not a thought that is fleeting. It's a thought that goes away when I'm on my medication, and the thought of doing a lot of crazy things as well and making unbelievable decisions."
Turley was a first-team All-Pro in 2000 and played in 109 games for the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. Now retired from football, he has a 2-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son.
"I've got as good of a chance as anybody of going down that road into crazy land or into super crazy disease land," Turley told the newspaper. "I've got every opportunity to probably be in the same boat in the future, and I don't know how far in the future. It's very, very disturbing, very frustrating, very stressful to deal with, especially having children."
Turley wants to help make the game safer for future generations. He will donate his brain for study after his death and contributes financially to an assistance fund.
"I am on a mission," he said.
After former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide last year, Turley acknowledged that he called NFL Life Line for assistance.
"It was imperative that I did," Turley said in the interview. "I don't know how to explain it. It's just a moment where you're lost. You're completely gone. You don't understand the things that you're doing, ... you have little control, it seems, over it."