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Ricky Hatton talks about his toughest fight – not in ring, but outside

Posted on 12-21-2017 Posted in Depression, Depression Rehab, Mental Health - 0 Comments

Celebrities could be having it all – money, fame, success, trophies, accolades. However, no matter whether it’s a sportsman, pop star or a famous Hollywood star, the status of celebrity often comes with various health risks, particularly that of mental illnesses and addiction. British boxing star Ricky Hatton might not be an isolated case, but the world sat up and empathized with him as he recently opened up about the toughest battle he had in his life – depression.

Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women, Hatton was candid about how he encountered suicidal thoughts after his career hit a dead end. He is proud that he managed to fight off those extremely low moments when he just did not care whether he lived or died. Hatton says it was only after his final fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko in 2012 that he felt he had successfully beaten his personal demons – outside the ring.

What brought it on?

There is bound to be a reason that usually sparks an onslaught of depression. In the case of Hatton, what triggered his depression was his defeat in the final of WBC welterweight championship in 2007. In the bout between two “undefeated,” Floyd Mayweather knocked out Hatton in the 10th round. The defeat in Las Vegas was the first of his professional career after 35 bouts.

What made it even more disconcerting for Hatton was the fact that it was witnessed by a sellout crowd and millions on pay-per-view. The thought that he had somehow let down the 40,000 fans who had travelled to Las Vegas to support him fueled his depression. If that was not enough, there came another blow to his mental equilibrium, which was the result of a major dispute that he had with his parents in 2013. Things got messy after they got into a row over money.

“I cancelled all my engagements and all my appearances [after the fight], I was so embarrassed,” says Hatton.

The darkness of depression

The struggle was long and arduous for Hatton, who gathered all his strength for a fight with many demons, just so that he could get back the control of his life. In his own words, “I contemplated suicide many, many times. I would be sitting downstairs with a knife and be thinking of slitting my wrists but I couldn’t go through with it. I started thinking of different ways and I thought I could drink myself to death. This made me more depressed and I ended up taking drugs to enable me to drink more. It became a vicious circle.”

It was the support and help of friends and professionals that helped Hatton turn his life around in a big way. More than anything, it was the birth of his second child Millie that made all the difference. He gathered his willpower and found the strength to finally take the steps needed to overcome his struggles. Having gone through this unpleasant journey, the dad of three wants to make a difference for others and has called for superior mental health support in boxing as there are other professional boxers who have been through depression. Frank Bruno and Tyson Fury are few of those boxers who too spoke publicly about the struggles they had faced.

Taking the bold step

Hatton has been humble as he recalls the unpleasant moments of his depressed state. He sounds thankful when he says: “A big thing for me is not having shame in admitting when I need to cry. Mental illness is a problem, a disease, like anything else.” Addressing men who often avoided treatment, he said, “It does not matter who I faced in the boxing ring; I knew I could not get beat this problem on my own. It’s hard for a man to come out and say ‘I’m crying all day, please help me out here, I need help.’”

Depression is a serious mental disorder and requires external help to overcome. For years, Sovereign Health has been committed to help those battling mental illnesses, addictions and dual diagnosis. Our facilities are among the top depression treatment centers in Florida. Our inpatient depression treatment centers welcome anyone in need of help and provide residential therapy for depression. Call at our 24/7 helpline or chat with an expert for an immediate appointment.

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