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Johnny Manziel announces he has stopped drinking following bipolar disorder diagnosis

The former Cleveland Browns quarterback has been out of the league for a number of years.

Johnny Manziel is hoping to return to playing soon.
Johnny Manziel is hoping to return to playing soon.
Image: Ed Zurga

IN HIS FIRST public interview in two years, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has told the Good Morning America TV show that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The 25-year-old was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft but has been out of the league for two years following inconsistent play on the field and alcohol and domestic abuse issues off it.

In 2016, he agreed to undergo counselling in exchange for having charges of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend dropped and was cut by the Browns in March that year.

Despite not having a team, Manziel was also suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Speaking today, Manziel — better known as Johnny Football — told Good Morning America he was using alcohol as a crutch.

“”I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought was making me happy and helping me get out of that depression to a point of where I felt like I had some sense of happiness.

“But at the end of the day, when you wake up the next day after a night like that or after going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that’s all gone and that liquid courage or that liquid like sense of euphoria that’s over you is all gone, and you’re left staring at the ceiling by yourself, and you’re back in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself being super-depressed, thinking about all the mistakes you’ve made in your life, what did that get me?

“Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced?”

Manziel — who won just two of his eight career NFL starts, completing 57% of his passes for 1,675 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions — also said he wants to play football again, but he’s not sure it will be in the NFL and may instead look to forge a career with Canadian football outfit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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