A former NFL football player reveals the true story of his battle with mental illness in this brave and honest memoir.
Ever since he was a child, Keith O’Neil wanted to play football. Born on the same day that his father, Ed O’Neil, was cut from the New England Patriots, football was all Keith could think about—aside from his anxiety.
After excelling at Northern Arizona University, the Dallas Cowboys offered O’Neil an invite to rookie mini-camp. He made the team as an undrafted free agent. His dream had come true. But sleepless nights, constant anxiety, and suicidal thoughts clouded his mind.
O’Neil considered stepping away from the game multiple times, even speaking to his coach, Bill Parcells, who gave him the wisdom that “Everyone has a demon in their head, and we have to beat that demon.” Sadly, O’Neil’s demons were too strong, and ultimately forced him to walk away from the game. It wasn’t until later that he was finally diagnosed with bipolar I disorder.
Under My Helmet is the deeply personal story of a man working every day to prove his worth while struggling with a debilitating—and undiagnosed—mental illness. In this revealing and inspirational memoir, O’Neil details the steps he’s taken to overcome adversity with the hopes of helping others find the strength to fight their own battles with mental illness.