Andrew Johns Laments About Bi-Polar Disorder and Epilepsy

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Hundreds of Millions of people all over the world suffer from a bi-polar disorder. Tens of millions of people suffer from an epilepsy disorder. Rugby legend Andrew "Joey" Johns has been living life with both.

Johns recently sat down for heart-wrenching interview with brother Matthew on Fox League. During the interview, he gave candid details about the way his bi-polar disorder interfered with his ability to cope with every day live, then eventually got into the details about how his epilepsy disorder might have been caused by head knocks while playing NRL rugby.

Johns played for the Newcastle Knights from 1993 through the 2007 season. During his "steady as you go" career, he played in played in 249 matches with 80 tries, 917 goals and 22 field goals for total of 2,176 points. He also played in 50 matches at the international level for New South Wales and Australia. As a point of interest, he also played professional cricket for the New South Wales, though his cricket career only lasted two matches before he was released. Rugby was his game and with him on the field, fans and punters, loaded with cash and bonuses from places like, knew they would get their money's worth.

Punters and fans will long remember the day Joey ran out on the pitch with his hair dyed red. In the Fox League interview, Johns admitted to being embarrassed. He also admitted that something sinister was brewing in his head, something that was throwing his life into turmoil.

"That day, I wouldn't say it was a turning point in my career, it was a turning point in my life," Johns stated.

"At the time, I was just totally out of control. I had no control over my life. My life was absolute chaos. There were times I'd wake up and I'd have so many creative thoughts. I'd go to training and I'd train unbelievably, and I'd go home, and I couldn't sleep. I'd just be up all-night writing stuff down. There were some days I couldn't get out of bed. I literally — not that I couldn't leave the house — I couldn't leave my bed."

He later added, "That day, I don't know whether it was a subconscious thing, if it was a cry for help, but the next day I went and saw my club doctor." He was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder.

Turning his attention to epilepsy, he told Matty he had developed the condition just a few years ago. The doctor mentioned concussions from his playing days as a possible culprit. He went on to describe a couple of recent episodes as follows:

 "I had one up in Yamba over Christmas where I actually fell over in a cafe and smashed my head. The last one I had in New Zealand I was over there surfing with my family and my young bloke, we were out in the water for six or seven hours a day. I think about it now because the specialist said I can't surf on my own. I make sure I don't go out (surfing by myself)."

Today, he relies on medications to help him fight both conditions. Johns continues to work as a commentator for Channel 9 and surfs regularly but lost his license to drive for his own protection.