Former Panthers Receiver Steve Smith Sr. Says He Battled Depression
Former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. says he battled depression during his 16-year career with the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens.
Smith, who retired after the 2016 season and now works as an analyst for the NFL Network, told NFL.com that despite making five Pro Bowls and being selected All-Pro twice he "routinely felt trapped, inferior and alone" and often asked himself "what's wrong with me?"
The 39-year-old Smith said by his final season with Carolina in 2013, he was so overwhelmed he didn't know how to handle his emotions and "was a cynic of everything and everyone."
Smith says he's been receiving treatment for depression and advised others to do the same, saying "stop trying to deal with these serious matters alone."
Panthers coach Ron Rivera praised Smith for speaking out on the topic.