Those familiar with the Chicago Bears and former quarterback Jim McMahon are well aware of his struggles with dementia.
McMahon, 54, is best known as the quarterback of the 1985 Super Bowl winning Bears team but since his NFL career ended he has struggled with memory loss and has had thoughts of committing suicide.
“I try to stay as close as I could to (girlfriend Laurie Navon) because she would keep me from doing something stupid,” McMahon said, via Chicago Tribune. “I am glad I don’t have any weapons in my house or else I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be here… It got to be that bad.”
McMahon believes his battle with dementia and depression were brought on from the hits he took while playing football. He is one of the players identified by name in a federal lawsuit filed in California last month accusing teams of illegally dispensing narcotics and other drugs to keep players on the field despite injury.
McMahon is part of a class-action lawsuit in which the NFL agreed to a $765 million settlement though a federal judge has yet to approve the settlement, as there is concern the amount is too small.
“I didn’t know what to do. I’d leave the house and I’d have to call Laurie on the way home and say, ‘I don’t know where I’m at. I don’t know how I got on this road,” said McMahon. “I told her aliens abducted me and put me over here.’ It was very frustrating. I can see how guys now … how some of these guys have ended their lives, because of the pain.”
McMahon told reporters on Tuesday that he had three to five concussions that were diagnosed but believes he had more. He also noted broken ribs, kidney injuries, a broken neck as well as an addition to painkillers. McMahon believes the broken neck took place in a 1993 playoff game when he was with the Minnesota Vikings.
“The NFL continues to make billions and billions of dollars every year,” McMahon said. “And some of these guys are homeless. They don’t know who they are, and they were the ones who built this brand to where it’s at.”