UFC featherweight contender Megan Anderson has opened up about her mental health issues during a recent interview with ESPN.
Anderson, who is scheduled to fight Norma Dumont Viana at UFC Norfolk, is coming off the back of her second win in the Ultimate Fighting Championship where she was able to defeat Zarah Fairn Dos Santos via submission.
While fans are interested in what she does inside of the Octagon, they’re also particularly invested in her well-being. During the aforementioned interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Anderson wasn’t shy when discussing the matter.
“I think there’s such a stigma around mental health, particularly as fighters, we are seen as invincible,” Anderson said (via ESPN). “We get in the cage and we fight and we’re supposed to be like superhero people.
“I think the more fighters that come out and talk about it, I feel like we really have a good voice to show people that it is OK to not be OK. It’s OK to have these feelings or to feel this way. Just remember: You aren’t the only one. And there is always somebody that will be there for you. It is never a worst-case scenario. It is never as bad as you think it is.”
Anderson also spoke about her own suicide attempt back in 2010 when she was in the army. Anderson was in hospital for around a week after what happened.
“I was at a point where I was just so scared to do anything, so mentally broken I didn’t know what else I could do,” Anderson said. “That was hard for my family, obviously. After that, we made the decision [the Army] wasn’t for me.”
Anderson also had “crippling anxiety” in the lead-up to her bout against Felicia Spencer at UFC Rochester, and she wound up going ahead with the fight where she lost via rear-naked choke.
Above all else, though, it’s incredibly important that someone with the profile of Megan Anderson comes out and talks about this. Her honesty is inspiring.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/16/2019.