Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst opens up about a difficult time in his life. The NFL athlete battled and almost lost to depression while in college.
At the time, Hurst played baseball and football for the University of South Carolina. The athlete admitted that addiction problems ran in his family, and he inherited some of them himself. During one night of drinking, Hurst mixed alcohol and Xanax together in a potentially deadly combination.
“I reached for the bottle or reach for the pills, it was to get blacked out and be incoherent,” Hurst said on “Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett Smith. “It was pretty severe depression.”
Depression almost won the battle that night before Hurst woke up in the hospital. The athlete realized during his drug-infused haze that he had almost killed himself.
“That night, I didn’t want to be here anymore,” Hurst said. “I woke up and I was handcuffed to a hospital bed. I saw my wrist was stitched up and my jeans were covered in blood, I realized I tried to kill myself. And I remember looking around the room and I was like, “Man what have you done?’ That was rock bottom for me.”
Hayden Hurst Opens Up About Depression
This wasn’t the first time Hurst has opened up about his battles with depression. He’s been vocal about his struggles and also shared some of his past experiences with his team.
“I can’t really explain it,” Hurst said in the interview with the Falcons. “It’s hard to unless you go through it. … But depression, you feel like nobody’s there, despite my family being so close. They’re willing to do whatever, but when you’re in that headspace and you’re in that dark spot, you feel alone.”
Hurst is thankful to be alive and to be here to share his story. Depression affects so many people worldwide. For instance, WHO estimates that 264 million people globally battle depression. In 2019, more than 48,000 people committed suicide in the United States.
After that night, Hurst promised not to allow himself to get that low again. In the years since he’s been a formidable tight end in the NFL.
“It was the best and worst thing that’s ever happened in my life,” Hurst said. “Because when I made that decision, when I was in that hospital room, kind of reflecting on everything I had done, I made a promise to myself. I was like, I’m not going to do this again.”