Parisyan: 'I wanted to put a bullet in my brain'

by Sergio Non | source:

Sergio Non: You just referred to the anxiety that's been hanging over you for the last couple of years. You've spoken in previous interviews about that. How do you deal with those panic attacks these days?

Karo Parisyan: I have a doctor who's talking to the UFC, for me to talk my medication at night time sometimes that I need. Non-narcotic, obviously. It can be an Ativan or a Xanax so whatever it is, just be able to go to sleep so I can continue on with my night and my day.

I didn't know what it was when I was diagnosed with it. I thought I was a chick, no offense to girls. I thought I was acting like a girl. "Oh, I'm having a panic attack, my heart's blah blah blah." I just didn't even want to say it to people.

But when it hit me before the fight and I thought I was going to almost die, I wanted to put a bullet in my brain.

Your brain is basically on a sprint run. You cannot sit down and just kind of calm yourself down. It's impossible.

That's when I said, "You know what? I have something wrong with me, and I'll never walk out to fight again if I feel like this." Before the Thiago Alves fight, you know? Even before the Dong Hyun Kim fight, I walked out, on pain medication, drooling, anxiety, my heart going through the roof.

But I cannot let it control me and control my life. People have lost everything because of anxiety and panic attacks. I kind of lost almost everything too, but I still have a good job, so I just have to come back and redeem myself and show everybody that I can fight. I can beat this and I can beat anybody that's standing in front of me.

People have killed themselves having half of the s--- that I went through. I'm not being cocky. I'm not being an a------. I'm being honest here.

In the past two years I've been through stuff. I've been through hell and I've been back.

SN: In the past you've worked with some big-name camps, like Randy Couture's gym. Have you ever thought about joining one of the prominent gyms on a long-term basis?

KP: Yeah, but they (Xtreme Couture) are in Vegas. I can't move to Vegas. I don't want to move to Vegas. I live in Northridge, Calif. with my family.

I wish they here. I swear to God I wish they were here. If they were in L.A., I swear to God I will be champion within eight months, just because I can go to training every night and have great guys to push me.

Even for this fight, I wanted to go and train with them, but financially, I wasn't ready financially to go on a trip, and go and train. It was kind of hard. I was down to that point.

So I put my camp together here with my friends that help me. As long as I'm in good shape, I've got strength and conditioning coming up really good right now.

As long as I'm mentally fit, clean and mentally focused, and conditioned so my heart's beating good, I'm ready to go.

Read entire interview...

UFC 123
Karo "The Heat" Parisyan vs. Dennis "Superman" Hallman
10 p.m. ET, pay-per-view
Detroit, Michicgan

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Recent Comments »

khollings site profile image  

11/17/10 7:46 PM by khollings

Where on earth do you think this sport comes from? Ancient Roman coliseum games! DUH! When you break it down, it pretty much is exactly what you said: guys getting slaughtered for our entertainment. I'm just sick of seeing this guy disappoint his fans on account of his addiction. I have no doubt it's been a long hard battle for him, but I didn't come to watch a celebrit rehab show, I came to watch fightin'

humphrey sphinctermuscle site profile image  

11/17/10 7:31 PM by humphrey sphinctermuscle

jesus get over yourself. Karo earned the angst against him, and even claimed stupid shit about how 'other people couldn't have done blah blah'.

dson site profile image  

11/17/10 7:24 PM by dson

i don't get this mentality. the fighters are human too. this ain't ancient Rome and faceless gladiators getting slaughtered for our entertainment. Karo is an awesome fighter and it sucks for ANYONE to have to battle with addiction. especially opiate addiction. i'm sure if you asked Karo and could get a candid answer he would tell you he'd rather get pounded by Alves than go through those first few days of withdrawal.anyone who posts on this site, whether you want to admit it or not, it would be your DREAM COME TRUE to be where Karo was at the height of his run in the UFC. why do people want to revel in his downfall? when I watched the Smashing Machine, and this was before I even got into trouble myself, I felt compassion for the guy. I really felt bad for him. It makes me wonder now if most of the people who saw that movie were rooting against Kerr too.why do we have to build people up and tear them down? is it like a "AHA! I knew he wasn't better than me! I might not be a famous fighter but at least I'm not an addict..." kind of thing?I'd love to see Karo back in the UFC, or anywhere else at 100%. No one tells the truth to the media, I don't believe its the fighting that causes his anxiety either, but its seriously a fucked up kind of hell to go through addiction on your own, but I can't imagine going through it with TV cameras and thousands of people on the internet discussing and picking apart your troubles and recovery.

khollings site profile image  

11/17/10 6:32 PM by khollings

All discussions of pill popping aside, if you aren't mentally built for the sport, go find another career. This isn't an Oprah counseling show, it's the UFC.

I AM A MOFO site profile image  

11/17/10 6:18 PM by I AM A MOFO

I know exactly how he feels/has been feeling. And pills had nothing to do with it.

jaydub site profile image  

11/17/10 5:29 PM by jaydub

so many experts on here and some of you might be right...but having panic attacks is no joke no matter how you slice it.The idiot saying you're not having panic attacks if you're not getting treated with meds is a complete retard.

Mighty Quinn site profile image  

11/17/10 5:20 PM by Mighty Quinn

deff dont let my post make you think subox dont work.....without it id still be doing pills.....i just sufferd from it n got off it a lil early....

dson site profile image  

11/17/10 1:51 PM by dson

i don't even hate drugs, even after they almost ruined my entire life, because its ME its not the drugs. *I* am the addict. i think of it like sucking dick. some dudes might like it, but it just ain't for me. i'm not made for it.

dson site profile image  

11/17/10 1:49 PM by dson

yes, MINOR withdrawals. not the panic attack inducing kind of shit that you get in the first week or two that would actually necessitate being prescribed benzos. i've had MORE tthan my share of 3-4 days of not sleeping because of restless leg, alternating cold chills and hot flashes, anxiety, panic attacks, crushing depression, feeling like i was coming out my skin, etc. trust me i WISH i had no clue. and you are 100% right. when i first got sober i probably cried more in a few days than i did in my entire life before that. i also put my foot through a window in my house. i remember constantly repeating that i was suprised how much emotion i had now and it was fucking out of control like if you let go of a firehose and it was flopping all around.but yeah, no one is saying there are 0 longterm withdrawal effects, but you are not going to be shitting yourself and puking and having panic attacks with 40 days cleans. personally if i was serious about being clean i would not start taking benzos on the regular like that its just a bad idea. you have to get away from thinking of drugs as a way to fix everything.

dson site profile image  

11/17/10 1:43 PM by dson

i got mine from baltimore. its kind of what we're known for. old school got it wrong lol its not "crab cakes and football thats what maryland does!"its "crab cakes and heroin thats what maryland does!" we even have our own unique shit called scramble (a cheap kind of heroin cut with quinine and a host of who knows what the fuck kind of shit like b12) anyways, i found it to be no different than doing a shitload of percs or OCs. the danger is that its sooooo much cheaper. but its cheaper so you do more. then, my friend.thank god i never put a needle in me EVER. i make no mistake though, thats where i would have ended up. thats where everyone who doesn't quit for real ends up.if you were a person that was addicted to pills that were prescribed to you, consider yourself LUCKY. being addicted and having to get everything off the street is the worst kind of hell that i wouldn't wish on anyone. when i first got on the suboxone i was fucking so relieved. and not even that i was relieved from the withdrawal, its that i was relieved from having to spend so much of my energy and time on finding and paying for fucking pills. if anyone is reading this thread and has a problem with pills or dope or whatever, read to what i am about to write like its the words of jesus come back and speaking directly to you. open up a new window, type in and find a doctor/clinic that offers suboxone and get your ass there as soon as possible. FUCK methadone. anyone that takes methadone when suboxone is available is still wanting to get high.suboxone is a miracle. don't let the one dude who posted earlier in the thread deter you, thats like the single bad experience i've read out of like a thousand. you won't have to go through withdrawal from the primary opiate, and withdrawal from suboxone is so minimal compared to primary antagonist opiates that its like getting bit by a baby poodle compared to a pitbull. i was on them for 2 months every day AND i didn't even taper and felt no withdrawal symptoms AT ALL.if you follow directions and actually taper you probably won't notice anything. they also have the benefit of being an anti-depressant so if you were self-medicating in the first place you will notice that as well. i loved that shit and i think it saved my life. it reduces cravings AND it blocks other opiates. so even if you really are craving to get high, you know that you pretty much can't so whats the fucking point. its just awesome.the only drawback is that its expensive, even with most people's insurance. i would always LOL at people who balked at the price of the suboxone when they had $100+ habits. its amazing the kind of compartmentalization and rationalization that goes on in an addict's mind. in a perfect world, opiates and amphetamines would be the breakfast of champions. the world isn't perfect though.