New Bern
52° F
Overcast
Overcast
Greenville
50° F
Overcast
Overcast
Jacksonville
51° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Herschel Walker visits Lejeune, talks mental illness

By Mahsa Saeidi, Reporter
Published On: Aug 10 2012 12:47:50 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 10 2012 12:49:24 PM CDT
JACKSONVILLE -

A Heisman trophy winner is on a mission to remove the stigma associated with mental illness.

Herschel Walker -- NFL football legend, author, businessman, and mixed martial arts fighter -- came to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune on Thursday to talk with Marines and sailors about a painful part of his past.

Walker is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

"I decided that I needed help, that I was not the person that my parents raised me to be at that time, I was hurting, and I never even realized it," Walker said.

Since 2008, Walker has visited numerous military installations and shared his story to thousands of service members and families including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. He has also made individual visits to warriors hospitalized after being wounded in battle.

"If I can put any kind of encouragement, inspiration, into our service men and women to say, you know what, I love you, don't give up, keep fighting, I want to be able to do that," Walker said.

Walker began experiencing mental health issues as a child, but he couldn't pinpoint the problem for years, and was hesitant to get help.

Walker says much like athletes, those who serve our country can be reluctant to get help.

"You can't worry about what society thinks, you gotta worry about what you think, and you got to be able to tell yourself you love you because you are somebody," Walker said.