Without any doubt, heavyweight boxing is famous for the name of Michael Gerard Tyson, commonly known as Mike Tyson. According to the history of heavyweight boxing champions, Mike Tyson is identified as the youngest boxer who won the WBC on November 22, 1986, WBA on March 7, 1987, and IBF on May 6, 1989, being only 19 years old. He is recognized to be the first heavyweight boxer to hold these titles at the same time, and the only boxer who unified these records successively. Among his fans, Mike Tyson is called as “Iron Mike” due to his stubbornness and violent desire to win. However, in 1997 Tyson lost his boxing license after biting a chunk out of Evander Holyfield’s ear. Thus, in 1998 the Nevada Athletic Commission made an evaluation of Mike’s mental condition. According to the diagnosis, Mike Tyson was constantly suffering from manic depression and serious neurobehavioral issues, caused by damage of his brain as a result of numerous fights, including attention and impulse control problems.
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According to the definition, manic depression or bipolar disorder is determined as a type of disease or mood swings that does not include the routine ups and downs, and is identified as a serious mental disorder. This disease is characterized by the rapid mood alternations from excessively “high” (manic) to excessively “low” (depressed). Undoubtedly, everyone can develop manic depression; however, recent scientific studies have investigated that highly creative and sensitive people who have vain dreams of perfectionism and high achievements, have a higher prevalence to suffer from bipolar affective disorder (Aloi, 2010). Furthermore, human surrounding also plays a considerable role in producing maniac depression. For instance, divorce, death of a loved one, constant disagreements, imprisonment, separation, etc. may bring on manic depression. According to statistics, 1% of the population will experience maniac depression. In the USA, more than 5.7 million people are suffering from this disorder. It is known that most humans show signs and symptoms of maniac depression in their late teens (21 years old). However, some children may be diagnosed with these symptoms in their childhood. In this case, bipolar disorder may be confused with behavioral issue, such as hyperactivity disorder – syndrome that is usually characterized by persistent and serious impairment of health following by distractibility and impulsivity (Aloi, 2010). Maniac depression affects men and women equally. However, it is known that women suffer more from depressive signs, comparing to manic symptoms. Furthermore, some scientists claim that maniac depression is not a Freudian childhood trauma. It is an inherited disease. Thus, nowadays one can see a tendency based on the identification of a gene that is responsible for this disease (NNDB, 2013).
Indisputably, in the 21st medical approaches were considerably changed. However, the exact cause of manic depression is still unidentified. Most experts strongly believe that there can be a lot of factors which can influence the development of maniac depression. One of them is a chemical imbalance within the brain. It is known that neurotransmitters control the functions of brain. Any dysfunctions of neurotransmitters can cause maniac depression. For example, if the level of norepinephrine is increased, mania can occur. On the contrary, if this level is too low, this can influence the development of depression. Moreover, drug abuse, previous mental disorders, and emotional breakdowns can stimulate to maniac depression. Additionally, physical disease, such as head trauma or thyroid problem, can be an incentive to this disorder (The Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, 2000).
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In the framework of identifying maniac depression, it is highly advisable to investigate its symptoms in order to provide effective treatment. Scholars affirm that maniac depression can differently influence the person. In the one case, the person can have superhuman energy; on the other case, one can have a desire to cut his/her age. The signs and symptoms of maniac depression can be characterized in two levels, such as maniac and depressive state. Manic state is identified as a state of “euphoria”, immoderate elation, and strength. Furthermore, in the early stages of suffering, the person can be excessively active, creative, talkative, perceptive, self-confident, and sociable. Moreover, maniac symptoms may include:
- Increased self-esteem, irritability, grandiosity, physical agitation, and energy level;
- Decreased need for sleep or taking a rest;
- Uncontrollable behavior with unpredictable emotional changes;
- Poor judgment;
- Increased desire to spend money;
- An absolute denial to counterarguments;
- Heightened sexual drive.
Depressive state can be characterized by despairing mood and restlessness. Additionally, depressive signs may consist of:
- Rapid abatement of energy;
- Issues with sleeping, since the person is unable to control his/ her time of sleeping. In this case, the person can sleep too much or too little;
- Unpredictable changes in eating habits;
- Constant thoughts about suicide, killing, disdain for other people, and homicide;
- Physical disorders, such as chronic pain and headaches;
- Reduced level of sexual drive (The Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, 2000).
If to take into account the above mentioned information, it can be evaluated that Mike Tyson is suffering from manic depression. Firstly, the divorce of his parents relentlessly influenced his health condition. At that time, he was characterized to be lonely, angry, and reserved boy. Furthermore, Mike Tyson was often accused of different fights and thefts. According to the American men’s magazine Details, Tyson was arrested 38 times by the age of 13 (NNDB, 2013). Thus, his aggressive and unpredictable behavior was seen in the early childhood. Secondly, the name of Mike Tyson is famous not only for the professional boxing, but also for several rapes and sexual harassment. From 1986, he showed his increased sex drive (that is one of the main causes of maniac symptoms). Moreover, he was charged with battery and misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon. However, he paid approximately 105,000 dollars in order to settle his case out of court. His first marriage was in 1988 with the actress Robin Givens. Four months later after their wedding, Givens and her mother sued Tyson for her beating. Tyson was blamed for beating a parking lot worker in April 1989. Furthermore, he was accused of raping Desiree Washington, a beauty pageant. After these illegal actions, Tyson was imprisoned to ten years. However, his most terrible and uncontrollable behavior was seen during the match in 1997, when Tyson bit out Holyfield’s ear. Undoubtedly, Tyson did it on purpose, since boxers are obligated to wear gum-shields that protects their teeth. In Tyson’s case, he left his gum-shield during the break in order to launch a blow. Moreover, in one of his interviews, Tyson admitted that this fight remained him his street fights. Furthermore, he pointed out that during this fight he found himself in his childhood. Undoubtedly, this action confirms one more time that Tyson is suffering from maniac depression, since he had kind of hallucinations. Thus, his childhood traumas considerably deteriorated Tyson’s mental health. Additionally, on August 31, 1998 Tyson was accused of beating a car driver relating parking issue. However, Tyson did not admit his guilt. This example confirms that Tyson has maniac depression, while he does not consider opinions that are opposite to his. Moreover, one of the symptoms of maniac depression is an uncontrollable desire to spend money. In Tyson’s case, he has earned about 300,000,000 dollars in his boxing career. However, by 2003, Mike Tyson declared bankruptcy (The Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, 2010). Consequently, his childhood traumas, brain’s damage, aggressiveness, abhorrence, mental condition, and cocaine abuse considerably impaired his health and influenced the development of maniac depression.
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Unfortunately, scientists have not investigated a relevant cure for maniac depression. However, there are some medications that can monitor mood swings. For example, mood-stabilizing medicine, such as carbamazepine, lithium, or antidepressants (Symbyax, Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil). Tyson was also recommended to take lithium that can help to control his mood, uncontrollable behavior, inflated self-esteem, energy level, and violence. It is generally known that Tyson refused to take this medicine, since it could weaken his physical activity as a sportsman (Itell, 1997). Tyson chose his career, but not his health. One of the good treatments applicable for maniac depressive patients is cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy, since it helps to determine in what stages of life the humans distorted views of themselves. Moreover, family therapy can be also effective treatment, while it teachers the family members how to behave with a person who is suffering from maniac depression. Furthermore, social rhythm therapy can significantly improve the relationships with others.
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All in all, health care providers still cannot provide a relevant diagnosis of Mike Tyson. Some of them point out that heavyweight boxer is suffering from mild depression; while others claim that he has maniac depression. Taking the above mentioned information into consideration, it can be assumed that Mike Tyson is suffering from maniac depression, since he has aggressive, uncontrollable, and violent behavior, rapid mood changes, emotional breakdowns, childhood traumas, and drug abuse. However, even all these symptoms cannot distinctly confirm that this person is suffering from maniac depression due to the fact that his family origins are still unknown (while it is investigated that maniac depression is an inherited disease). In this case, it is highly recommended to conduct further researches of health impairment of Mike Tyson in order to provide effective treatment and professional medical care. Furthermore, it is also advisable to investigate the condition of maniac depression deeply, since various scholars suggest different scientific findings concerning this disorder. Consequently, inaccuracy of medical approaches can lead to terrible consequences.