Frank Bruno has opened up about his battle with bipolar disorder, saying: “I don’t want to be a zombie for the rest of my life.”
The 51-year-old former boxing champion has suffered with mental health problems since he retired from sport in 1996. “Nothing could replace the buzz of boxing; it was a high and coming down was confusing and depressing,” said Bruno in this week’s Radio Times.
His condition got worse when his marriage fell apart in 2001 and Bruno found himself alone in his big family home: “Sometimes you can handle the pressure and sometimes you can’t, and at that time I couldn’t.”
Nowadays the star is focused on keeping his three children away from the stress of his condition. “I want to get back to training and get well. I don’t want my kids to read in the paper that something’s happened to their dad. I don’t want to put any more stress on them than I already have.”
His daughter Rachel is joining her dad to talk about his troubled life outside of the boxing ring in new BBC3 documentary Rachel Bruno: My Dad & Me. But that kind of communication was absent from Frank’s own childhood.
“We didn’t talk about that stuff at home. My mum was old school, she was very tough, believed you had to get on with it and gave you a kick up the backside,” said Bruno.
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times.