Former NFL lineman Kyle Turley admits to having suicidal thoughts

By John Breech |

Former All-Pro lineman Kyle Turley has been struggling in retirement. (USATSI)

Retirement hasn't been easy for former All-Pro offensive tackle Kyle Turley. The 37-year-old, who was diagnosed with two concussions during his nine-year career and says he suffered many more, is worried about what his future holds. Turley is on a steady diet of two pills a day that he takes to keep himself sane and to keep from having suicidal thoughts.

"No one in my family has ever gone crazy and killed themselves or thought about that. I have," Turley told U-T San Diego. "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 admits the thoughts scare him.

"I've got young kids," Turley said." It's scary as hell. It keeps me up at night. It's something that weighs on me heavliy."

Turley, who played for the Saints, Rams and Chiefs, isn't sure what's going to happen to him down the road, which is one of the reasons he's decided to donate his brain to medical research once he passes.

"I've got a as good of a chance as anybody of going down that road into Crazy Land or into Super Crazy Disease Land," Turley said. "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 kids."

The one-year anniverary of Junior Seau's death is on May 2 and ironically, it's Seau's death that may have saved Turley's life. Less than three months after Seau died, the NFL launched a Life Line -- a support service for player's in crisis -- that Turley called from a parking lot in Nashville, Tenn., late last year when he was contemplating suicide.

"It was imperative that I did," Turley said of calling. "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're pissed at yourself because you're doing the things that you're doing and you have little control, it seems, over it.

"Even in the moment, you're saying, 'Why is this happening? What is going on?' But you're still in it. It's a weird thing," Turley said. "I don't really know how to describe it. It's frustrating to no end and that frustration can lead you to some pretty low places. Only those who have gotten to the point where they picked up a phone can probably understand."

The interview with Turley is extensive and the entire story can be found here.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter @JohnBreech.

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