Tyson Fury opens up about having suicidal thoughts: ‘I didn’t care about anything or anybody’

Sabrina Barr
Tyson Fury on This Morning (14 November 2019): Rex Features

Professional boxer Tyson Fury has opened up about experiencing severe mental health issues, which resulted in him contemplating taking his own life.

While speaking with television presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV’s This Morning, Fury said he has had suicidal thoughts since around 2012, having previously experienced periods of depression.

The 31-year-old outlined how a “massive dark cloud” came over him in 2015 after beating rival Wladimir Klitschko to be named heavyweight champion of the world.

“Even going into that fight I was really mentally unwell and I was quite afraid of winning, because I knew I wouldn’t have a goal anymore and I knew that I would come crashing down,” he said.

“I’ve had suicidal thoughts since around 2012. I’d had bouts of depression but never as severe as until [20]12, and then I started thinking about death and thinking about wanting to die and killing myself and how I’d do it.”

Fury stated that he reached a point where he “really didn’t care about anything or anybody”, adding that he “lost a passion to want to breathe fresh air and want to live”.

“I lost a passion to want, and that’s a really lonely, dark place,” he said.

The athlete told Schofield and Willoughby how he’d had his mind set on taking his own life, until he heard a “voice” in his head that said: “Don’t do this, think about your kids and your family, you’re going to destroy so many lives.”

“That was the first time I realised I couldn’t survive like this anymore and I couldn’t put myself through this mental torture anymore,” he said.

“That was the first time I went and got medical advice and seeked help from a doctor and it was the best thing I ever did.”

Fury detailed how he was hospitalised, and wound up gaining weight and becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs.

“I was in a very shameful place for me as a person,” he said. “But what I didn’t understand at that time was how badly I was suffering with my mental health.”

The boxer added that he does not feel “embarrassed” of how he used to be, as now people can see that he is “mentally well” and has a “real lust for life”.

“As soon as you seek medical advice, the sooner you can return to normal life, whatever that may be for you as an individual,” Fury said as advice for any young men who are struggling with mental health issues.

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, causing 18 deaths every day, according to charity Campaign Against Living Miserably.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, men accounted for three quarters of suicide deaths in the UK in 2018.

Several Twitter users praised Fury for speaking openly about his mental health struggles on This Morning.

“His honesty and opening up about a topic that many are going through in silence was both refreshing and hopeful,” one person wrote.

“Many men have suffered silently or continue to suffer. Hopefully this shows that even someone as tough as Tyson Fury has tough moments and there is no shame,” another commented.

If you are in need of mental health support, you can contact the free 24/7 Samaritans helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.

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