Watching Stephen Fry’s programme on manic depression on BBC2 the other day I couldn’t help thinking of Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Fry explored the bipolar condition that causes sufferers to experience both extreme highs and crushing lows.

Ronnie has been treated for depression and his moods seem to swing between the two ends of the spectrum with alarming unpredictability.

Of course, this has affected his career to the extent that he hasn’t won as many tournaments as his talent deserves.

However, it has also helped fashion him as an enigma, whose curious statements and behaviour add to the excitement of how he plays.

In his autobiography, O’Sullivan talked of how Prozac helped him to control the problem but it clearly persists.

Watching Fry’s programme, you wouldn’t wish it on anyone.


Anonymous said...

The Rocket was certainly focused last night. Indeed, he really wants to make the first 147 in the PSL.

Actually, his match last night against Ken Doherty, reminded me of this action that happened some time ago, which maybe you can explain.

After his 'altercation' with Mike Ganley at the World Championship in 1996, O'Sullivan was given a two-year suspended sentence, wasn't he? Which, led me to believe that had something similar occurred with this timeframe, the then WPBSA would give him a much more severe punishment.

Fast forward to March 1998, he won the Irish Masters by defeating Doherty. Following his victory, O'Sullivan was found to have taken drugs during a drug test. Having been found guilty he was striped of the title and fined. Was that all he got and, if so, why?

Shouldn't the two-year rule have been applied.

I've just never understood that's all. Although, I do feel that the then WPBSA and the now WSA have always been a soft touch. Wasn't Stephen Lee allegedly involved in a drugs story at the moment.

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

It's true Ronnie failed the drugs test within the two-year ban period but this was not activated. It's easy to look back with hindsight, but he was very lucky not to get thrown of the 1996 World Championship after his attack on Mike Ganley. In truth, though, the disciplinary process in snooker is a shadowy affair: fines and punishments are kept secret, which is surely wrong.

Stephen Lee was questioned in the summer but no charges will be brought against him.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Well, he probably should've got thrown out for it, instead of making a 'charitable donation,' but I think he left Matchroom after that season and joined Ian Doyle's Team Sweatershop.

Am glad he didn't get disqualified as he played some of the best snooker I've ever seen him play at one World Championship; the notable destruction of Drago in round two, followed by his epic Quarter-final with an aggreived John Higgins and then Ebdon. The fourth session on Friday evening was explosive snooker by O'Sullivan par excellence!

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

I hope that the Stephen Fry documentary will help people to a greater understanding of the genius and enigma that is Ronnie.

Some people suggest he deserves sympathy, but i think it is better expressed as "understanding"

For all of us who have friends or relatives who suffer from bi-polar, we would have easily identified Ronnie's condition and maybe been less critical than others.

Let's hope now that Ronnie's advisers help him to treatment that helps him keep a balance whilst not diluting his unique talent and that media and fans alike know when to take statements "with a pinch of salt".

Anonymous said...

hes on the wrong meds!!!!! prozac isnt a mood stablizer.