After three months of treatment and therapy, psychological and neurological exams at Boston's McLean Hospital, the training ground for Harvard University medical students, Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall believes he's finally at the root of his struggles.
During the summer of 2011, following a domestic dispute that led to his wife's arrest, he been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, or BPD.
"BPD is a well understood psychological disorder. It's not a form of misbehavior," said Mary Zanarini, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, who treated Marshall this summer.
BPD is a mental illness that studies say is more common than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but is rarely diagnosed because of misperceptions in the mental health community, and the challenges of providing a proper treatment plan.
The disorder is marked by difficulties with relationships and self-image and controlling moods and emotions.
During Marshall's treatment at McLean, he learned how to defuse the bomb inside of his head. Now with the tools and a new perspective he's returning to the real world, the NFL, a marriage he admittedly broke, a wife who feels vilified, and must use the skills he's learned to survive, if not thrive.
"By no means am I all healed or fixed," Marshall said, "but it's like a light bulbs been turned on in my dark room."