Richie Incognito accepts help in wake of severe mental stress

When former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito took a baseball bat to the front of his Ferrari on Wednesday night -- proof of which ended up on TMZ in the form of three photos -- it was the first indication to the general public of growing personal issues.

To those closest to Incognito, however, it was only one more sign of the pressures and stress that have pushed him toward a type of behavior that was foreign to even those who had witnessed him during his tenure with the Miami Dolphins.

The erratic behavior culminated with recent outreach efforts by the NFL Players Association and the NFL to assist Incognito with his mental health issues, according to multiple sources close to Incognito. Incognito is now currently getting professional help at a facility in Arizona.

Sources close to Incognito say they believe the relatively lengthy period between original harassment allegations made by Jonathan Martin and the release of the Ted Wells Report began to weigh heavy on Incognito, but it wasn't until the release of Wells' report that his stress began to build to levels that made those closest to him worried.

Incognito spent several weeks in several hotels in Hawaii and Los Angeles, as multiple parties attempted to intervene, before he made his way to Arizona (where he has an offseason home) earlier this week.

After failed intervention attempts in Los Angeles, it was in Arizona where Incognito was admitted into treatment, where he currently remains.

Since the Wells Report was released, Incognito was still struggling to understand and accept the harassment allegations against him -- while also struggling to deal with the massive amount of attention placed on the situation.

During multiple phone calls with Incognito in recent weeks, he often relied on a similar sentiment: "I just want to play football. I'm a football player."

This is not the first time Incognito has dealt with mental health issues. During a lengthy interview with NFL.com in 2013, he discussed a previous rehabilitation process that ultimately allowed him to revitalize his career.

Through the use of an anti-depressant medication called Paxil, as well as continued psychiatric treatment, Incognito was able to revitalize his career with a trip to the Pro Bowl for the Dolphins after the 2012 season.

Follow Jeff Darlington on Twitter @JeffDarlington.