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Islanders goalie Robin Lehner details suicidal state amid addiction, bipolar battles

Islanders goalie Robin Lehner details suicidal state amid addiction, bipolar battles
Published On: Thu, Sep 13
Mar 5, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner (40) looks for the puck during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner opened up about a suicidal state he found himself in this past spring as a result of an untreated bipolar disorder and a crippling battle with addiction.

"I wanted to kill myself. I was extremely close multiple times," Lehner wrote in an essay as a guest author forA The Athletic published on Thursday.A "The battle of playing hockey was nothing compared to the battle inside my brain. It was at its worst."

The 27-year-oldA Lehner described managing his depression and anxiety by drinkingA a case of beer a day toA "settle the demons" and taking pills to help him fall asleep.A 

"I was self-treating myself because I could not be inside my own head by myself," he wrote. "The thoughts of ending it all ... it was real and close."

The Sweden native said he hit a turning point on March 29 when he finally asked for help following a panic attack when he was the Buffalo Sabres' goalie.A He turned to the NHL and NHL Players' Association, and was directed to a detox programA in Arizona that saved his life.A 

"It finally didna€™t matter. I was going to rehab for myself and my family," he wrote.A "It was the one thing I have done in my life that made me feel like a true man."

AtA The Meadows, an addiction treatment center,A Lehner wasA diagnosed with "bipolar 1 with manic phases" as well as ADHD with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said his battle was complicated by aA childhood that was surrounded by abuse, addiction and mental illness.

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