Barret Robbins is best-known to the football world as the Oakland Raider who went missing the day before Super Bowl XXXVII.

It turned out Robbins had disappeared after a night of heavy partying in Tijuana.

But Robbins' turmoil didn't end there. He dropped out of the football world and re-appeared in news headlines three years later, when a violent altercation with police in Miami resulted in Robbins being shot three times by law enforcement.

After that incident, Robbins went to jail. Upon his release in 2012 he angrily refused comment to various media outlets. Then, again, he disappeared.

Two years later, Robbins has surfaced in the Bay Area. He understands some of the plights that have plagued him for years, including bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Perhaps most importantly, Robbins discovered he is likely suffering from post-concussion symptoms -- problems that wouldn't have been identified during his playing days.

According to the Bay Area News Group, that discovery has been critical to Robbins' rehabilitation. The former Pro Bowler has been out of his most recent rehab program for three months, and he says the focus on his mental health problems -- which hadn't been addressed in previous visits to rehab -- has made all the difference.

"That's a part everyone was leaving out as far as I was concerned," Robbins told reporter Jerry McDonald. "I'm already bipolar. I have to take medications. So even if I'm doing that and staying sober, I still have to deal with issues mentally."

In his nine-year NFL career, plus high school and college, Robbins estimates he suffered at least 10 concussions. But Robbins pointed to the prevailing mentality he was taught: When you're hit hard, you go back out and do it again.

Now, the NFL veteran is living with the consequences, which means taking his recovery one day at a time. After just a few months out of rehab, Robbins hasn't decided where his future is headed. He has two daughters in Los Angeles and is currently living with a friend in the Bay Area.

He recently volunteered at a Special Olympics event and said he plans to reach out to some ex-teammates from the Raiders, whom he has avoided since leaving football.

Now that he is free of legal troubles and understands the conditions that afflict him, Robbins believes he can make positive contributions in whatever career he decides to pursue.

CTE in NFL vets

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