June 18, 2014 in Sports

Ex Bears QB Jim McMahon opens up about dementia

Andrew Seligman Associated Press
 

Jim McMahon would leave home and forget how to get back.

Sometimes, he would stay in his room and lie in the dark because the pain in his head was so excruciating. And at his darkest moments a few years ago, when it was just about too much to handle, the former Chicago Bears quarterback thought about killing himself.

“I am glad I don’t have any weapons in my house or else I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be here,” McMahon said. “It got to be that bad.”

McMahon opened up about his struggles with early onset dementia and depression, issues he believes were caused by the beating he absorbed playing football, in a gathering with a small group of reporters on Tuesday.

McMahon is one of several players identified by name in a federal lawsuit filed in California last month accusing teams of illegally dispensing powerful narcotics and other drugs to keep players on the field without regard for their long-term health.

He is also a party to a concussions-related class-action lawsuit in which the NFL agreed to a $765 million settlement without acknowledging it hid the risks of concussions from former players. A federal judge has yet to approve the settlement, expressing concern the amount is too small.

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