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When NFL legend junior sales took his own life this week it shocked his thousands of adoring fans here was a hall of -- -- Who seem to have it all but one former football player says he understands sales emotional pain.
And it's more common than we think Greg Montgomery was a high profile punter for the Baltimore Ravens in Houston Oilers.
He hit his own mental illness for years and he believes many professional football players are doing the -- he's now the president of every minute dot word.
That's a coalition to increase mental health research also with us is doctor Tina shedding she's a neurologist.
And consulting position for the New York Giants thanks to both of you for being here.
Greg awareness though it -- that Great Britain having -- wanna start with you what did you think when you heard at junior sales staff.
I was shocked.
From my room really thought about his family.
Immediately thought about my family acted totally relate to the emotional pain.
They must have been going through depression carries a level of fear and hopelessness that can just really spend us out and by the grace of god I'm still here I mean -- -- candid.
Actually had a manic episode and subsequent depression and -- down and here in Florida -- -- to.
Did her health of the palm beaches and it's been a tough time in and seeing.
Seeing what happened was junior and seeing what happened to.
By his -- have a family it's it's been a tragedy.
And Greg you know we really appreciate you sharing this personal part of your life we know it's not easy to talk about it publicly -- can help us explain.
What happens to professional football players are not talking about the physical impact of the job of getting hit in the head obviously that's taking -- -- we'll talk to doctor about it for a second.
But the emotional impact of the lifestyle you guys have it all right I mean fame and fortune what what goes wrong.
Well -- of the transition from a gladiator do citizen Q is very difficult process.
That the injuries and and the brain trauma aside.
When you're in the spotlight all the sudden the curtain comes down for the final time it's very difficult to make that transition back into society and me we don't have a and identity crisis where we need to reinvent ourselves and and fit back -- And I mean if you look at the this statistics of divorce and bankruptcy to all the NFL retired players.
I mean there's really no.
There's no wonder that there's a lot of depression out there I mean I really feel it is to be better transition.
From -- to citizenship.
And we know that you are working on that doctor shedding.
I want to bring you in now because let's talk about the physical impact one of one of -- your sales teammates just yesterday in USA today reported that he estimated junior sale must've had about 15100 concussions.
During his career is there a link between concussions and depression and mental illness.
Concussion disrupts chemical reactions in the brain and repeated imbalances of that nature may lead to depression.
Having -- that.
Without a clearly documented concussion history any assumption that the head trauma that he may or may not have had that have led to has led to his depression is purely speculative.
And we know that his family is actually donating his brain to science so that this.
Can be studied so in other words were just on the cost of figuring out the length.
Exactly and does -- -- a lot of research being done currently to investigate that further.
That pathology is essential to diagnose the condition of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
And precise incidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy after repetitive head injury is unknown.
And may perhaps be higher than me think.
I'm Greg you know obviously a depression and mental illness affects people not just professional football players you.
Are trying to help people and build awareness for that what do you say to people today who are struggling.
I think the Big -- -- communications -- get educated and make sure that we build a support group there's a lot of great organizations out there.
And if if people go to screening for mental health award nominee -- or Gordon DBS say to me it's a situation where we just have to be -- asked for help many many and many especially men are too proud to ask for help when it comes to.
Mental illness and -- -- and we -- religious have to communicate.
Yup and I would imagine that is very true professional football players and Greg Montgomery -- -- thanks so much for coming in to talk about this.
Important topic Greg -- -- your a year a link to your website on our blog here we really appreciate it thanks so much thanks I don't.