Four years ago, Gary Goodridge received a diagnosis that changed his life forever.
The retired heavyweight who thrilled fans with gutsy and violent performances in Pride FC, the UFC, and K-1 was diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repetitive brain trauma such as repeated hits to the head in MMA.
The Ontario native spoke openly to Inside MMA correspondent Amy Dardashtian about his life after the diagnosis, which included contemplations of suicide until the right medication was taken.
"I truly honestly believe that if it wasn't for the pills that I'm taking, my life would have been done a long time ago. I would have taken my life, absolutely. Mental disability is a huge thing. It's got me crippled."
Goodridge compiled a month-long video diary that chronicled his daily life with the mental illness.
"My days suck. When I wake up, I feel like going back to bed."
Asked if he could get a job to help occupy his time, Goodridge's response was distressing.
"I could get a job, then I'd forget I had a job."
Goodridge was diagnosed with a specific kind of CTE: degenerative dementia. Doctors informed him that his case would continue to "get worse" as time went on.
"[Doctors told me] ‘it doesn't get better. This is the best that you'll be.'"