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Former Chicago Bears Star Jim McMahon Opens Up About Dementia, Suicidal Thoughts

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JIM MCMAHON
Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and head coach Mike Ditka look over London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 2, 1986 before a brief workout as the team went through final preparations for Sunday’s American Bowl 86 game with the Dallas Cowboys. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO (AP) -- At his darkest moments a few years ago, when the pain in his head was just about too much to bear, former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon thought about killing himself.

If he kept weapons at home, he says, he is "pretty sure I wouldn't be here."

McMahon discussed his struggles with early onset dementia and depression Tuesday, issues that he believes were brought on by the beating he absorbed playing football. He is scheduled to be honored Wednesday in Chicago by the Sports Legacy Institute, a Boston University-based group that has been studying the effects of brain trauma in athletes and others.

While the suicidal thoughts are a thing of the past, the fight with dementia continues. He is also digging in for a battle with the NFL.

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