Michael Oher, 'The Blind Side' Inspiration, Says His Childhood Traumas Still Affect Him

Michael Oher was the first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and a member of a Super Bowl-winning NFL team. To reach these highs, he had to overcome hardships from his youth. Now Oher has revealed that homelessness and other traumas still affect him even after finding professional football success.

The former NFL player made the revelation while speaking to PEOPLE. He talked about the role that poverty and homelessness played in his youth and schoolwork. Oher also revealed that he has been able to achieve personal growth through therapy and help others in need. The Blind Side told the story of his hardships earlier in life, but Oher provided a first-hand account of how his life changed over the years.

"I'm still traumatized and I still deal with things that I dealt with as a kid," Oher told the outlet. "If you're still dealing with trauma, [therapy] is definitely needed early on because I had to do that to get back healthy." The Super Bowl champion continued and explained that he had taken an approach earlier in his life that negatively impacted him.

"The mind is the most powerful thing and it has to be healthy to be successful," Oher added. "I bottled so much stuff up throughout my life. I carried that with me and I think it hurt me in the long run. That may be the only thing holding you back from being where you want to be — talking to somebody."

Besides detailing how the traumas still impacted him as an adult, Oher also talked about positive moments. He explained that having daily necessities provided for him helped improve his mental health. He did not have to stress what he would eat or what he would wear daily.

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"When I started to see that I had two or three pairs of shoes to wear to school and I had multiple pants, my mental health started getting stronger," Oher told PEOPLE. "I could focus on school, and my grades started to go up. I was eating, so I could focus on other things rather than being hungry; that's when I really started to excel. I started to create that path because I didn't have the small things to worry about and it all came from help. It all came from help from other people and other resources and without that, I wouldn't be here."