Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst had had his share of battles in life. The 26-year old recently revealed his struggles with depression and how bad it got when he was playing minor leagues for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He was struggling to produce, which led to him drinking every day.
"There were weeks at a time I would sit in a dark room and not want to be around people," he said to First Coast News. "Just that fear of embarrassment. I had never experienced anything like that."
Hurst went to his parents about his struggles, who admits it was his dad that told him about his issues with anxiety.
"He told me the family history with his OCD," Hurst said. "His anxiety and things as well. The depression he went through and it was easier than understanding, 'Hey he's been through this and he understands what's going on.' Then I laid out 'Here's what's going on in my life.'"
Hurst quit baseball and then walked on to the football team at the University of South Carolina. Despite talking to his parents, his depression and anxiety returned.
"I woke up in the hospital," he recalled. "I didn't know what happened. I had to have a friend fill me in. Apparently, I had been drinking and went into my apartment and cut my wrist. My friend found me in a puddle of blood. He called 911."
Hurst then said when he was in the hospital he realized things need to change. As he was handcuffed to the bed, he said to himself "What happened? What are you doing?" That moment led to him fighting back and now he speaks to young people about his past. But Hurst admits he still has a lot of work to do.
"I don't have the answers to fix all of this," he said. "It's still a trial and error to this day, but I will say I have much more good days than I do bad days. I'm not this superhero that's portrayed on TV. I'm a regular person. I struggle with depression, anxiety and things like that."
Hurst was drafted by the Ravens in the first round in 2018. In 28 career games, Hurst has caught 43 passes for 512 yards and three touchdowns.