In an interview with CBC News Canada, future UFC hall of famer Georges St. Pierre revealed that he struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental illness which according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine is
...an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).
Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts. But this only provides temporary relief. Not doing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety.
St. Pierre explained to CBC that the disorder served as a double edged sword, making him a better fighter while resulting in great distress, and ten years with only five hours of sleep a night.
"As a fighter it's a good thing to have it, because it makes you better because you completely obsess about being a better martial artist,"
"Everything you do is oriented around that goal. But the same thing could be bad for a normal person in normal life."
"It was going to drive me crazy. That's why I took that break," he said. "I had my first New Year's and Christmas with my family, a real one. I don't have to go away because I have a fight coming up."
The Canadian superstar fighter went on to explain that he must keep his OCD in mind if he ever wants to stage a comeback
"I will be happy doing it again until the obsessiveness takes over and makes me unhappy again," he said.
Dealing with a potentially serious issue like OCD would better explain St. Pierre's unusual post-fight comments after his decision win over Johny Hendricks, and his assertion that he needs to take some time away from the sport. Mental health is a serious matter, and if St. Pierre needs to step away from fighting to attend to psychological matters, then more power to him.
Hopefully he can find tranquility and happiness away from mixed martial arts.