Ex-Chiefs star Jamaal Charles admits to battling depression and suicidal thoughts since retiring

Charles revealed that he contemplated about taking his life a few times after failing to adapt to the retirement life.

Ex-Chiefs star Jamaal Charles admits to battling depression and suicidal thoughts since retiring

Former NFL running back Jamaal Charles (Image via IMAGO)

Jamaal Charles spent 30 years perfecting his skills as a football player. He never allowed his speech disorder to stand between him and his dream of playing in the NFL.

A standout running back for the Texas Longhorns, Charles spent three years dominating college football with his wavy runs. He emulated that form in the NFL after the Kansas City Chiefs drafted the Texas native in the third round of the 2008 draft.

Charles spent nine years in Kansas City before moving to the Denver Broncos in 2017. After just one year in Mile High, he was on the move, ending up with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he added a full stop to his professional football career.

Athletes always fear their life post-retirement. Not everyone can be a Travis Kelce, managing to carve out a second interest that he can fall onto before hanging up his boots.

Jamaal Charles, however, struggled in his retirement life. During a recent appearance on the NFL Players Second Act Podcast, the 37-year-old discussed how he battled depression.

I checked out. My body wasn’t the same. It’s like, man, what do I do next? I just went into basically a dark side…Nobody [was] reaching out to guide me out to transition to life after football.
Jamaal Charles said

The 4 time Pro Bowler further added that he tried investing, which did not work out. It took a toll on his mental health.

It didn’t go well. I started to lose money and investment. So, I started to get really depressive like suicide [suicidal].
Jamaal Charles added

Despite a respectable career with the Chiefs, Charles had a big regret. Right after he was released, they drafted Patrick Mahomes. After witnessing the greatness of the Texas Tech product, Charles thought he should have stayed in Kansas.

Therapy helped Jamaal Charles fight against depression and anxiety

The month of June, besides being celebrated as Pride Month in support of the LGBTQ+ community, also focuses on men’s mental health. Charles spoke about seeking help from specialists who guided him out of the darkness he was in.

Ex-Chiefs star Jamaal Charles admits to battling depression and suicidal thoughts since retiring
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid with running back Jamaal Charles (Image via IMAGO)

Charles said that therapy did the job which he is still undergoing to this day.

I did get therapy, so it's nothing wrong. I did talk to a therapist to talk about suicide thoughts, talk about the hard times. At that time, I still was going through therapy and I still am today.
Jamaal Charles said

Charles was a two-time All-Pro for the Chiefs, once Second-team All-Pro, and the 2013 NFL rushing touchdown leader. He appeared in 119 regular season NFL games, carrying the ball 1407 times for 7563 yards with an average of 5.4 yards scoring 44 touchdowns, along with 310 receptions for 2593 yards and 20 receiving touchdowns.

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