clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Former Lions WR Titus Young diaries on mental illness, thinks NFL comeback is still possible

New, comments

The LA Times has a devastating update on the former Lions receiver.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The last we had heard about former Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young, he had been sentenced to jail time following a series of bizarre events and arrests. He had been diagnosed as bipolar and had been in and out of rehab centers prior to the arrests.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times gave an update on Young from his Los Angeles-based prison. Young declined to interview with the Times, but shared notes from his diary, which he started in 2017 and hopes to someday publish in a book.

The diary notes paint a devastatingly sad picture of Young’s mental state when gone untreated. “I have made so many mistakes I have become a little ashamed of being Titus Young,” he wrote, according to the LA Times. “A lot of the stuff I have done was out of my control during the time. ... I was hearing voices.”

Nathan Fenno, the author of the Times piece, notes that there are disagreements between family, friends, doctors and lawyers on what has caused Young’s tragic fall from grace. Young was diagnosed as bipolar, and mentions the disorder in portions of his diary.

“Having bipolar has pretty much torn down my life,” Young wrote. “It’s been four years of fighting so many different behaviors. When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t want to believe it because I felt my life was too perfect to have bipolar.”

But not all medical professionals agree on the diagnosis. Robert Knol, a psychologist at the Crosby Center (a mental health facility in which Young was treated), testified in court that Young had been misdiagnosed and was actually suffering from CTE, thanks to a football career that resulted in several concussions.

Regardless of the cause of Young’s troubles, it’s clear his mental state was severely impaired during the time of his arrests. The Times’ story recounts several frightening details of Young’s life at the time. He regularly heard voices, he was once caught speaking to a smoke detector by his girlfriend, and he knocked out his own lawyer after he was told he wouldn’t be able to return home.

It appears Young is doing better in jail. He says he’s been regularly taking medication and claims to be “back to normal.”

Unfortunately, he still has one delusion: That he’ll return to the NFL and make a huge comeback. Take this passage from his diary:

“I have it all under control now. So when I make this comeback to the league, Rodger Godell [sic] and the rest will understand that athletes [sic] are not exempt from mental illness. We have to live with these differences for the rest of our life.”

Young has not played in an NFL game since 2012. According to the LA Times, he has a parole hearing in March.