Tom Brady said he has used both physical and mental therapy to address his mental health in recent years so that he can “be good for people around me.”
Speaking on his “Let’s Go!” podcast alongside co-host Jim Gray on Monday, the 45-year-old quarterback opened up about the “intense amount of stress” he has faced over his 22-year NFL career.
“Everyone has different situations in their life and children and you worry about their mental health. You worry about your parents [and] obviously yourself,” Brady said.
“I think I’ve had to learn a lot of things over a long period of time in sports. I think there’s an intense amount of stress that we all deal with, and how do you relieve stress so that you’re not inflicting so much damage on yourself through kind of stress response?”
He added: “So [it’s] something I’ve always continued to try to work at, and it’s obviously a challenge for me and different forms of whether it’s physical therapy or mental therapy, all those things I’ve definitely done over the years.”
Brady has endured an uncharacteristically bumpy start to the 2022 NFL season, with issues on and off the field.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback retired in February only to later reverse that decision. In the midst of August’s training camp, Brady took an 11-day leave of absence to “deal with personal things,” according to his head coach Todd Bowles.
In September, Brady twice hinted that retirement was not too far away, saying he was “close to the end” of his NFL career.
Earlier this month, a source close to Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen told CNN that the estranged couple have each hired divorce attorneys and are “exploring their options” regarding their marriage.
CNN reported last month that Brady and Bündchen have been dealing with “marital issues,” according to a source close to the couple.
On the field, Brady’s Bucs have had a rocky start to the season. They currently have a 3-2 record and sit atop the NFC South but have had some bad losses and some underwhelming performances.
Brady said on Monday that the importance of addressing one’s mental health in sports is often underplayed.
“I think there was a part of us where we felt like, suck it up and deal with it,” Brady added. “And I think you realize that there’s a lot, especially in today’s day and age, with how fast things are happening in life for all of us, and the amount of responsibilities we have.
“You hear this a lot from people that say: ‘I’m only human.’ We are only human. We’re not inhuman. We’re not immune to a lot of the things that life brings us. We’re not robots.”
Brady said having a “great support system” has helped him cope with the pressure he’s had during his storied career, during which he’s won seven Super Bowl titles.
“You wake up every day trying to do the best you can do, understanding that life has its stresses and to deal with them with a great support system and understanding and having some introspectiveness in your life where you can look at yourself and say, where do I need to commit my time and energy to?” he explained.
“And how can I lessen some of the stress and lessen the burden on me so that I can be good for people around me? So those are all different things that you work at. I worked at them when I was 20.
“There was a lot of things that I was going through when I was 20. There was a lot of things I was going through in my 30s. There’s things I’m going through in my 40s.
“And it’s life. And you learn to grow up and you learn to deal with life. And that’s what we’re all trying to do. We’re trying to do it the best way we can.”