Former Bulls player Ben Gordon gets candid about suicide attempt, dealing with mental illness

“The goal doesn’t have to be perfection,” Gordon wrote. “It can just be peace and acceptance with yourself.”

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Former Bull Ben Gordon wrote candidly about his suicide attempt and dealing with mental illness in a post at The Players Tribune.

Former Bull Ben Gordon wrote candidly about his suicide attempt and dealing with mental illness in a post at The Players Tribune.

Wilfredo Lee/AP

Former Bulls player Ben Gordon told the story of how he dealt with mental health issues and a suicide attempt in a post published at The Players Tribune.

Gordon, who played for the Bulls from 2004-2009 and spent 16 seasons in the NBA, wrote that he would have panic attacks and said he was manic-depressive. 

“I was obsessed with killing myself,” Gordon wrote. “It’s all I researched, all I thought about. One night my panic attacks got so bad that all I could think about was escape.”

Gordon survived his suicide attempt, but eventually had minor scrapes with the law and was ordered into therapy. He wrote that the sessions began to help him cope.

“The goal doesn’t have to be perfection,” he wrote. “It can just be peace and acceptance with yourself.” 

“Mental illness touches everybody,” Gordon wrote. “Every community, every person. Either you or somebody you love is going to be touched by it at some point. It’s not like I woke up one morning and I was this quiet, humble NBA dude that nobody thought twice about, and the next morning I woke up and I was bugging ... out in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria.”

Gordon’s post comes after fellow athletes Kevin Love and Liz Cambage told their stories of dealing with mental illness.

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