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Tyson fury fights toughest battle yet, overcomes depression, drugs and alcohol

June 11, 2018 depression


I am living proof that anyone can come back from the brink.

-Tyson Luke Fury, former WBA-IBF-WBO world heavyweight champion

Professional boxer Tyson Luke Fury had recently admitted to suffering from depression and a drug problem in an interview to BBC Sport, ahead of his comeback fight with Sefer Seferi on June 9, 2018, which he won easily. He revealed how depression led him to abuse substance which he felt was the only coping mechanism at that time. “I woke up every day wishing I would not wake up any more. To subside that depression, other things happened,” he said.

Even before he could realize it, Fury was suffering from co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis. Co-occurring disorders is when an individual suffers from a mental disorder and a substance use disorder (SUD) at the same time. Either of the disorders can develop first leading to the other. They can also occur in any combination like depression and drug or alcohol abuse, as in Fury’s case; or heroin addiction and bipolar disorder or opioid addiction and anxiety disorder.

Fighting ‘Fury’iously against all odds

Despite having a successful career, Fury suffered from bouts of manic depression that left him incapable of doing anything else. This eventually led to his skirmishes with drug addiction and alcohol. He explained the depressive episodes and what he went through because of it as the “worst place anybody could go.”

“I could not pinpoint what made me depressed,” he said reflecting on those times. “I was rich, successful, young, healthy, had a family, fame – everything a man could dream of – but I was still depressed.” Fury explained how in May 2016, he recklessly left a boxing training camp halfway and was “out drinking, Monday to Friday to Sunday, and taking cocaine.”

In 2016, Fury was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control amid anti-doping and medical issues. In June of the same year, U.K. Anti-Doping (Ukad) charged him with anti-doping rule violation and handed him a backdated ineligibility period of two years.

During the two years that Fury had been away, he was able to set priorities in life, fall in love with boxing again, find better ways to cope with depression and his addiction to substances. “I needed the rest. I felt tired of boxing, drained. I needed to be rejuvenated; 100 percent the break benefited me,” he said.

Fury attributed getting back to boxing as a means to get his life back in order. Now, he has 11 grueling training sessions a week which keep him focused. The key to life is a structured routine and setting short- and long-term goals, he said.

Fury is an inspiration to people who battle depression every day. “There is a lot of people out there suffering with mental health problems who think all their days will be grey, but life can improve again and you will start to enjoy the little things again,” he said. He advised living a clean, healthy life, hitting the gym and staying away from alcohol and drugs as they only poison the body.

Treating dual diagnosis the right way

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 8.2 million Americans aged 18 and above suffered from dual diagnosis in the past year. However, timely treatment from trained medical practitioners can facilitate complete recovery of patients with minimal scope of relapse.

If you or someone you know is suffering from co-occurring disorders, contact the Recover Mental Health for dual diagnosis treatment. Our representatives will give you all the information about the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in your vicinity. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-593-2339 or chat online with one of our experts to know more about evidence-based treatment for co-occurring conditions.


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