Loma Lookboonmee opens up about suicidal thoughts, self-harm: ‘If I can get better, you can get better’

·2 min read

LAS VEGAS –  As she sat at the winner’s table to discuss her victory, Loma Lookboonmee recognized the stark difference in the post-fight feeling compared to her previous bout.

“I’m feeling really great,” Lookboonmee told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a UFC Fight Night 210 post-fight news conference. “It feels great to win, especially after such a long time off. I was out for about a year.”

Lookboonmee’s previous bout was 10 months ago in November 2021. Choked up, Lookboonmee revealed she battled mental illness obstacles in order to return to the cage.

“After that loss, I went home,” Lookboonmee said. “It was a very difficult period for me because I had been suffering from depression. After that loss, I had said to myself this was it. I was done. The reason I’m standing here today is because of my team and my family who believed in me and always believed in me and always believed that I would get better and get back in there today. That’s why I’m here right now.”

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Depression led to suicidal ideations and self-harm, Lookboonmee furthered. She thanked those around her for helping her get back on track once again and sent a message to others that might be struggling.

“I’d like to tell people who are suffering from depression and mental illness that I am one of you, too,” Lookboonmee said. “I know how it feels and I know how bad it is. I’ve had suicidal thoughts. I have hurt myself. I know how dark and deep it goes. I’m lucky to have such an amazing team behind me and a family love me and have always seen the value in me. I’m very grateful and blessed to have them. I want to tell people suffering from mental illness to see value in yourself because it’s there and to never give up and to understand things might not get better right away, but they will eventually.”

“… I think it’s great that I’m able to share this and to be standing here today. I just want to let everyone know that if I can get better, you can get better, too. It doesn’t matter if I’m a UFC fighter or not. We all can suffer from this.”

When it comes to mental health care access, the UFC offers athletes access to remote therapy appointments for mental performance through the UFC Performance Institute – however, the extent of the care is unclear.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 210.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie