Joseph Barksdale

LSU offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale (78) pumps up fans after a 4th-quarter touchdown put the Tigers ahead 21-14 over Alabama at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on November 6, 2010. LSU won 24-21.

LIZ CONDO

Severe depression, preceded by the trauma of physical, sexual and emotional abuse suffered as a child, nearly caused former LSU and current Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Joe Barksdale to take his own life late last year.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Los Angeles Times, the former three-year starter under Les Miles opened up about his troubled past and his current struggles.

Barksdale almost committed suicide in November 2017, he told The Times. His wife, Brionna, whom he's known since third grade, found him with a knife in their home, but she was able to calm him. 

"Just kill yourself. Just do it. What's the point of living if you're going to be this miserable the rest of your life? Just kill yourself," the Detroit native recalled thinking.

The revelation is the first time Barksdale has spoken publicly about his struggles. He has confided in teammates, including quarterback Phillip Rivers, who were supportive and promised secrecy.

"My thing was, I'm telling you so that you can tell other people," Barksdale said.

Now he's hopeful speaking out will help others silently struggling.

Barksdale, who played at LSU from 2007-2010, won a national championship as a freshman. He was taken in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders where he played for two seasons before spending three years with St. Louis. He just finished his third season with the Chargers where he started 11 games at offensive tackle.

He was the first signee from Michigan in LSU history.

Click here to read The Times' full story.