‘Trolls taunt me over my breakdowns’
BOXING legend Frank Bruno says he is the target of trolls because of his mental health struggle.
The former world heavyweight champ, 55, has battled bipolar disorder and depression.
And he told the Daily Star Sunday that he regularly gets taunted online.
Frank said: “There isn’t enough understanding about mental health, not really. You get trolls. I get people sending messages here and there.
“I can’t go into what they say. But it’s like it was years ago… if you were black you’d get criticism, if you were Italian you’d get criticism, if you were gay you’d get criticism. It comes with the territory.”
In 2003 Frank had a nervous breakdown and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
And five years ago he was hospitalised twice over fears for his wellbeing. But today he is confident that he’s finally beaten his demons.
He said: “I don’t struggle with my mental health now. I look after myself and monitor myself so I don’t struggle.
“In the summer you get more endorphins and you feel more lively. I’m okay at the moment. But in the winter you can feel a bit more down.”
Frank, who fought the fearsome Mike Tyson twice, has spoken about his struggle with mental health over the years to help others.
He opened up about his darkest days in his autobiography Frank: Fighting Back.
And he reckons he has helped to raise awareness of what sufferers go through.
Frank continued: “Years ago if you said to someone you were going through mental health problems they would cross the road. But now people are coming to terms with the issues and understanding it more and having sympathy for people who are suffering.
“People should imagine it was their son or mum or dad. People have been very rotten in the past but now people are being very sympathetic.
“The thing is, it’s not just sportsmen who struggle… everybody struggles.
“You can be a dustman or a policeman and still be affected by mental health.”
Earlier this year Frank set up The Frank Bruno Foundation, which offers treatment to sufferers.
He said: “I want to help people out there who are suffering from mental health problems.
“There are people being sectioned and I want to help them.
“I want to fly a flag for them because I think the majority of them are being treated very rough.”
■ HITTING BACK: Frank today and, inset, in second fight with Tyson