Erik Kramer is a suicide survivor. The NFL quarterback has been on the path to recovery since his failed attempt at taking his own life. This happened in August when he checked in to a small hotel in California with only a gun in his suitcase.
After spending months in two hospitals for his recovery, Erik Kramer talks about his journey down the slippery slope of suicidal thoughts and surviving it.
“I don’t want to tempt fate but at this point, I feel very good. And so my hope is to just keep living life and keep contributing and keep all that going,” Kramer said in his in-depth interview with Detroit Free Press.
Recounting his playing days, Kramer talks about how his suicidal tendencies started as far back as his breakout season in 1991. He signed a free agent contract for $8.1 million dollars with the Chicago Bears but sported injuries that left him on the sidelines watching. Being benched for most of the season hit the promising quarterback hard.
“I think it was the fall from grace (that first brought on the depression). Coming in as the starter and the free agent and then getting hurt, feeling better after a few weeks, like I could play, but then not getting an opportunity to. And I think that all played a part in it.”
After the first bout of depression, Kramer went on and off anti-depressant medication. He also went on to have a wonderful football career.
Fox Sports notes his career high around 1995 for the Chicago Bears, gaining 3,838 passing yards and 29 touchdown passes.
However, the adrenaline high he got from playing did not last long, as after the season ended, he ended back in a slump again.
Asked whether playing football might have contributed to his bouts of depression, Kramer vehemently denies it. He has scrutinized his playing career and maintains that he was never diagnosed with concussions.
After his forced retirement due to an injury in 1999, he surprisingly did not suffer from post-NFL depression like most of his other teammates. What made him lose control of his love for life is the loss of his strong support system.
With each member slowly going out of Kramer’s life, he was left without support. He felt void and empty. However, all of that is in the past now. Erik Kramer is definitely on the track to recovery. The most important lesson he gleaned from his suicide survival is that he should stay alive.