Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen announced Friday night that he is bipolar and wants to be an advocate for others who suffer from mental illness.
The 33-year-old decided to go public about his struggles with mental health as part of a post on his Instagram account. Last week, after he posted disturbing videos that included him brandishing a gun, police and Vikings team psychologists responded to his home in suburban Minneapolis and spoke with him for more than six hours before he agreed to leave peacefully.
Griffen was taken to a mental health facility Wednesday, and the Vikings placed him on the reserve/non-football illness list Friday. He will miss at least the next three games.
"It's true I am bipolar," Griffen wrote. "I will embrace it and be an advocate for mental health. I been running from it a long time. I'm not ashamed of it anymore.
"It all started when my mother passed away. Went into a dark place, thought I was great for many years. I promise this time I will do everything the experts say and my wife (says). I love my family and I miss my friends. Thank you for all the love and support, but most of all thank you for all the prayers. bEGreat mentalhealthawareness"
Griffen, who grew up in Arizona and played collegiately at USC, is in his 12th NFL season. He has registered 85 1/2 sacks in 170 career games (96 starts).
--Field Level Media