Boxing and #MentalHealth; Legendary Boxer Ricky Hatton speaks about #depression and #suicide

2:58:00 PM

With one of my role models in this fight; Conjestina
I recently saw a picture of Boxing Champion Mike Tyson in a wig and lip stick and the caption read, Mike Tyson now Michelle Tyson. I am sure how true the sex change story is, someone kindly verify, but what caught my attention is the fact that Mike got so many blows to the head that he forgot he was a man. Different bloggers, majority in entertainment, have gone to explain how Mike Tyson has a severe mental health disorder that made him feel he was meant to be a woman. I am still learning and researching about mental health and sexuality especially after a transgender activist who will be guest writing here, commented on my blog post, Mental Health and Sexual Minorities. Until recently, being gay was grouped as a mental health disorder and there is still so much debate on the same which I am watching that closely as well as trying to get a clear story of what Mike Tyson is up to now, so keep checking the blog for those two findings plus the guest post from Kenya’s Transgender Activist.

That aside, I wanted to look at the effect of boxing and punches to the head and mental health. I remember when our very own African boxing queen Conjestina took ill recently, everyone was a ‘doctor’ in social media saying that the blows to the head did this to her, the same case with Mike Tyson should the sex change story be true, all these entertainment bloggers say it is blows to the head. Two weeks ago, I visited a community mental health meeting in Kiambu and we were discussing the same. I remember putting it up on twitter and most people said it depends with the type of mental illness and other factors but physical injury alone cannot cause a mental health disorder, Schizophrenia maybe but something like Bipolar better known as mood disorder and depression which is very common among boxers unless there are other factors in most cases, pressure from all round.

The Ricky Hatton Story
Last week Talk Asia, I know I am watching way too much CNN, the focus was on Ricky Hatton. He talked about his boxing days, the matches he loved most, his battle with depression and suicide and life as a mentor. This to me was a success story in so many levels. First because I am working with Conjestina who is doing very good, Secondly, because most stories end at the depression and suicide since the networks want ratings and people are so miserable in this world, they need to see someone else’s misery to live another day. Third, because he told his own story, CNN provided the platform but he told it. It wasn’t some journalist giving half-baked facts for us to catch a part two of what would be an award winning story for them. I particularly loved the part he was giving a talk to what looked like a group of business people. Now that’s how to tell a mental health story. Watch Ricky Hatton CNN interview here, what positive mental health stories have you heard recently?

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