Tyson Fury’s Mental Health Journey And Advocacy

Tyson Fury (“The Gypsy King”) might be known for his numerous boxing achievements, however, his candid honesty about his struggle with depression is what truly makes him a winner. Fury has never shied away from talking in-depth about his mental health journey. Everyone who viewed the hotly-anticipated rematch between Tyson Fury and  Deontay Wilder for the WBC belt most likely remembers Wilder taunting The Gypsy King about his lifelong past. “Don’t you ever forget that when I found you, you were strung out on coke. You were like a big house, contemplating killing yourself,” he mentioned after a persistent five-minute stare-down.  

Fury’s battle with mental health is a vivid reminder that even the strongest of men can suffer greatly and come back even stronger than before.  The Gypsy King now utilizes his platform as a boxing world champion to help erase the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and encourage other people to be vocal about their struggles.   

 Tyson Fury’s mental health journey 

The now 31-year old athlete spent three years out of the ring due to mental health issues. His last match with Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 offered him the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles, however, his constant battle with depression, suicidal thoughts, and addiction have nearly driven him to end his life. Fury stated that he almost drove his Ferrari off a bridge at 190mph. Fury mentioned that at this point he “lost the will to live” and “prayed for death on a daily basis”.

As mentioned in a The Guardian article, Dr Benji Waterstones, an NHS psychiatrist stated that suicide was the biggest killer of men under 45, partly because of men aren’t that willing to open about to their friends and family about it ( maybe link the previous article with the statistics here). “Fury’s frankness is redefining outdated ideas of masculinity and what it means to be a ‘strong man. He shows you can compete to be the heavyweight champion of the world and be vocal about your mental health struggles, which is especially powerful in a testosterone-fuelled sport like boxing.” Dr Waterstones pointed out.

In an interview with He said in his interview with SHOWTIME Sports, Fury opened up about his alcoholism “When I had a drink, it made the pain go away. Not pain as in physical pain, but pain as in the longing and the repetitive thinking, day-in, and day-out, that won’t go away.” Fury mentioned that alcohol was a way for him to hide away his pain temporarily, but “when you wake up the next day, you’re even more depressed than you started.” It wasn’t long before alcohol turned to drug use.

Thankfully, after over a year of heavy drinking, drug use, and depression, Fury experienced a  breakdown followed by a  panic attack which led him to the hospital. The doctors soon after diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. As a result, he lost his boxing license after a failed drug test. However, his family was the main reason Fury regained his will to leave and the motivation he needed to work on himself and accept the help he needed. 

Tyson Fury’s recovery was heavily connected to prayer, love, and motivation. He set his mind to make a come-back and after re-establishing a healthy exercising routine with the help of his new trainer, he managed to regain his fighting license.

 Through his online platforms,  Fury aspires to help other men who suffer from mental health issues. As he mentioned, even someone who is as strong as he is, mental health issues were powerful enough to bring him to his knees. No matter who you are, depression, anxiety, and addiction can really take a toll on you, however, they don’t make you weak or less of a man. 

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