Former Chief’s Star Opens Up About Battling Depression and Suicidal Thoughts After NFL Retirement

Former Chiefs RB recently opened up about battling depression and spoke about the ‘dark side’ of retirement from the NFL. Read on for more details on what he said.

Published on Jun 10, 2024  |  06:01 PM IST |  34.6K
Key Highlight
  • Jamaal Charles opens up about the dark side of retirement
  • Seeking help to get on the brighter side

Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of suicide, depression and mental health struggles. Readers discretion is advised.

30 years of Jamaal Charles’ life has been spent with football. Right from his youth to his NFL journey. The 2008 NFL Draft saw him selected by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was part of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos toward the end of his NFL career. He recently shared his thoughts on the 'dark side' of retirement and the aftermath of the depressing phase he went through after retiring in 2018.

Jamaal Charles opens up about the dark side of retirement

In a candid discussion on the NFL’s Second Acts Podcast, Charles, now 37, revealed his struggles after retirement. “I started to get really depressed,” he admitted. 

Talking about his mental health challenges, he described a time in his life when he dealt with suicidal thoughts. His sudden exit from the game led to a bout of depression. 

Seeking help to get on the brighter side

Despite these challenges, Jamaal eventually ended up seeking help in the form of therapy. “At that time, I did get therapy,” he shared, emphasizing the importance of discussing his suicidal thoughts and the hard times he faced. He continues to attend therapy sessions. 

“Just because I look good; I still have problems,” Charles explained, emphasizing the physical and mental struggles he faces.

Adding to his troubles was significant financial loss. This was due to bad investments. “I started to lose money and investment,” he said, which caused his depression and even led to suicidal thoughts. 


The former star admitted that he felt isolated, not knowing who to lean on for advice or support. This isolation was exemplified by his inability to fully engage with the opportunities and help which was being offered through the NFLPA meetings.

ALSO READ: Travis Kelce Fan Ensures Chiefs Tight End Never Be Missed at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Show; See How

Charles also credited a professional football community class with helping him learn about real estate and good investments. Other than that, interacting with other former football players in their post-retirement era helped him live in the nostalgia of his time in the locker room.

The support from the Chiefs community has also been significant. Charles recently announced Kansas City's second-round pick at the 2024 NFL draft in Detroit. This recent public appearance marks a significant step towards Jamaal taking more control of his life and facing the challenges head-on.

Disclaimer: If you know someone who is having suicidal thoughts, anxiety, going through depression, or is suffering from a serious mental illness, reach out to a nearby doctor, mental health expert, or an NGO for immediate help.​ There are several helplines available for the same.


ALSO READ: Andy Reid Reveals How Taylor Swift Didn’t Just Win Travis Kelce’s but Entire Chiefs Team’s Hearts With Sweetest Gesture

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About The Author

Ananya Kesh is a journalism student with a burning passion for the world of sports. Writing allows her



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