Tyler Lockett shared his struggles with mental health during a series of Twitter posts Wednesday.
The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver said he “almost quit” while playing through depression, anxiety, and trauma, but he kept playing and had two of his best seasons.
“Moral of the story: Just keep going,” Lockett wrote. “You never know what’s waiting on the other side!”
That’s often easier said than done when battling depression or anxiety. Lockett said he realized treatment is a long-term process after initially attempting to “hurry up and fix it” like he would when dealing with a physical injury.
“But with mental health you have to be real with yourself.”
“It’s easy to operate in life when you live through your strengths,” Lockett continued. “But these last couple of years I had to live and rely on my weaknesses to get me through. I was more patient with myself than I’ve ever been. I had to learn that my mindset wasn’t the only way.”
While his mindset helped him reach the NFL, Lockett realized it “also set me back” when dealing with his mental health.
On Tuesday, the Seahawks launched a Mental Health Matters program aimed at encouraging conversations about mental health.
“The more that we’re bringing awareness and the more that people are talking about it, it allows people who aren’t athletes to know that, no matter where you are in whatever aspect of life that you’re going to be dealing with something, “Lockett said. “Now the next step for us is being able to try to allow safe spaces to be given.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 40 million adults (19.1%) in the United States have an anxiety disorder, and 7 percent of children ages three to 17 have experienced anxiety symptoms. The NAMI said approximately 21 million adults (8.1%) suffered a major depression episode in 2020.
Lockett has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last three seasons, but success doesn’t shield anyone from mental illness. The Seahawks star used his platform to remind others going through difficult times that they’re not alone.