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Karo talks panic

The UFC has an article with Karo Parisyan up and it has some worthwhile updates regarding his struggle with panic attacks:

Diagnosed with a panic disorder 14 months ago, the 26-year-old surprisingly appears to be more relaxed and composed than ever. Shrugging off the observation that he seems mellower now, Karo admits that although he didn’t think so when he was first handed the diagnosis for his affliction, he says his change in bearing was a necessary one. He credits self-realization and increased maturity for instituting the remarkable transformation.

“I try to put things into perspective and I don’t let every little thing get to me any more. I was prescribed medication for the panic attacks but I haven’t taken it,” he says. “I battled through it, kept my mind strong and prayed a lot. [The panic attacks] are never going to leave me, I just had to figure out what brings them on try to avoid the things that trigger them.”

Here’s hoping that fighting doesn’t trigger that stuff. I imagine fighting at a UFC event must be hell on your nerves in the first place. Add a panic disorder into the mix and I’m amazed Karo even makes it to the venue, let alone into the cage. Of course, he did end up pulling out of his last fight over it. Well, the UFC article cited sciatica so who really knows? All I know is the article also said everyone was claiming Karo wasn’t going to make weight when everyone was really claiming he had a mental breakdown and had to be pulled.

Whatever the case, here’s what Karo said about those mean ‘weight accusations’:

“People can be cruel. You can put your entire life into one fight and you can go train and sacrifice so many things in your life to prepare for it and then you get a freak injury and can’t fight and the people who claim to be fans or journalists turn on you,” explains Karo. “I have fought so many times with injuries. If it had happened like ten days out from the fight, I would have been able to do it. Coming off a loss and going up against a fellow judoka like Yoshida, I wanted to be healthy so I could perform at my best. I was laid up for days recuperating and was on crutches – I couldn’t even move I was in such pain. I was literally in tears over having to cancel that fight.”

Personally, I’m hoping Karo shows up at UFC 94 ready to go and with his head in check. I’m a big Karo fan, and 2008 was a pretty Mirko year for him if you know what I mean.