Fighters & Depression -FOM article

Thanks to everyone here on the UG who assisted with and supported the artilce on depression in the lives of fighters, which recently appeared in Fighters Only Magazine ("Even Fighters Get the Blues"). The editors of FOM have posted the full text of that article on their website, along with information about how to donate to the fund established for Jeremy Williams' family

Click HERE to read the Article

With greatest respect and thanks,

Randy Borum



Tanner is probably going through this.


"This feature was written partially in response to the suicide of IFL fighter
Jeremy Williams. A fund has been set up to help support his family to
which the author donated his fee for this article. "

Nice work. Very admirable.

frederic - you might try safari. It showed fine(white on black) on my Mac. Let me know if you continue to have troube viewing itm though.

McQuaid - Thanks for your comment.



frederic - Good thinking. Creative solution. Helpful observation, though I don't run the FOM website - I am merely a humble contributor :-) I know we Mac people sometimes face different challenges accessing web content in a PC-dominant environment. Thank you also for your comment on the article. I do appreciate the feedback. - Thanks again. - Randy


rborum - odds are the bug will show up in all versions of Firefox. Since Firefox on Windows is a pretty large slice of web traffic, you might want to shoot a mail to the FOM guys. I would have done it but I didn't see a email visible.

RoR - Thanks. I just wrote them a note advising them of the situation. I appreciate the patience of all who have encountered this problem. - Randy

good stuff


Excellent article.

Randy in such a short article you did a great job covering different ways the desease manifests itself differently in men than women, the shame that men feel and that they hide the depression.

I found it interesting that others use exercise to self medicate, it's something that I've never thought of before. I guess in my isolation I thought it was unique to me. Throughout my life I've pushed myself beyond exhaustion just to feel a different kind of pain. And yes, it is addictive and requires constantly pushing the envelope until you're exercising to a point that you can't walk.

You covered the difference between having the "blues" and being "clinically depressed" but in such a short article (you could write volumes of books on the subject ;-) ) it would have been impossible to go into detail about the possible pysiological reasons people have repeated depressive episodes, and that for many people there is no "real world trigger" that sets off depression. We all are conditioned to look for cause and effect - a stressor such as a percieved great failure or loss, but with many people it doesn't matter, they're getting depressed every year even if they win the lottery or become heavy weight champion of the world.

It was interesting to read about champions like Johnny Tapia who has been getting repeated depressive episodes throughout his life, I think that he would be an example of cyclical depression whereas Mike Tyson always struck me as a bipolar 1.

There is one point in the article that I have to give a differing opinion:

"Whether or not there is a ?cure?, depression is very treatable. Success rates exceed eighty percent. Therapy helps many people. A new generation of medications are very effective and have far fewer side effects than the early antidepressants. They are non-addictive and typically do not cause people to feel out of it, just ?normal?."

Although I know that your figures are backed up by medical and pharmacutical surveys, in my, long, experience with many depressed people "success" in treating depression is often not making people feel "just normal". For people with single episode depression a mild dose of an SSRI, SNRI or SSNRI will often help them to recover quicker but people with cyclical depression are often just drugged by large doses of often multiple medications. The feeling is anything but normal and they will never be cured.

One thing that I think is important to explain to healthy people is that depression is 24/7. The pain never goes away completely, even when self medicating with either exercise or drugs. Imagine staying up for 2 nights straight then getting in the car and having to drive at night with on comming traffics headlights in your eyes. You keep nodding off and snapping awake, all you can think of is sleep but you can't do it because you have to drive for 8 hours. This is a pain that most of us are familiar with.

Now take away the car and take away the time limit and, in your mind, you cannot sleep the rest of your life and depression has taken away your ability to perceive an ending to the pain. It is eternal. Any hope of your existance being anything but pain and dispair does not exist, you can remember some things you did while not depressed but have no memory of ever being without the pain and dispair.

That's as close an analogy to depression that I could give to a healthy person.

Great article, I hope everyone on the board reads it.

Well done Dr Borum.

(are you a psychiatrist?)

Hobbes - Thanks for your very thoughtful comments and for sharing your experience. You're right that depression comes in many forms and is often quite difficult to describe. Even here on this forum, in discussions of suicide and suicide prevention, mmany seemingly cannot understand the state of desperation and hopelessness you describe above. BTW, I am a psychologist (not a psychiatrist). I appeciate your contribution here. Thanks - Randy


it's a far bigger problem in our sport than many admit to.

I haven't done the statistics, but i believe that the % of fighters who were abused while growing up is probably much higher than the national average.

I have a lot of theories on that, but the only real solution that I can offer is God. He says many times that he heals the brokenhearted. I believe that applies to the depressed.

no shame

ttt for a fantastic article!!! Dr. Borum did a fantastic job!