Former Bear Jim McMahon speaks openly about depression

Former Bears' quarterback Jim McMahon got personal about how he struggles every day as the result of injuries suffered on the field years ago.
Former Bears' quarterback Jim McMahon got personal about how he struggles every day as the result of injuries suffered on the field years ago.

WATCH: Full interview with Jim McMahon

The Chicago Concussion Coalition honored McMahon Wednesday evening, where the Super Bowl champion McMahon spoke openly about his life. He says he enjoys good days when he plays golf or hangs out at home with his dogs, but on the bad days, he fights depression and suicidal thoughts. McMahon says his girfriend, Laurie Nayvon, has helped him through his darkest hours.

"I'm cranky. I'm yelling at her, I'm yelling at the dogs. I'm just hating life some days," said McMahon.

"Hating life" is the low after an NFL career, he says, with repeated concussions. McMahon says there are good days and bad ones.

"The bad days, I don't want to do anything, I want to lay in my room and tell Laurie to leave me the hell alone, I'm going to watch a little TV in this dark room, just the mood swings. That's when she knows my neck is out of whack and I have to go see the doctor again," said McMahon.

McMahon says a team of New York doctors has helped him relieve spinal fluid from his brain. He offers this advice to all athletes.

"We need to find the baselines of every athlete, and when they do get dinged or hurt, they can go back to that original thing and say, look this guy is out of whack, he can't play," said McMahon.

The Sports Legacy Institute & Chicago Concussion Coalition gave him the courage award for speaking out about his suicidal thoughts, dementia, and essentially the life he lives now.

"It's very hard for a strong man to come out and say that he's having those issues, but what it does, it warns every coach and parent that concussions are real and they have long-term consequences," said Christopher Nowinski, executive director, Sports Legacy Institute.

So was this all worth it? The Bears? The Super Bowl Championship?

"I would do it again, but now that I know what I know, I would not have played a lot of those games when I was dinged up," said McMahon.

Legally, McMahon is involved in two lawsuits against the NFL- one involving concussions and injuries, and the other involving what he says is an excessive use of painkillers. He also said he plans to donate his brain to research, but he hopes that does not happen for a long time.
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