Michael Phelps Describes His Severe Anxiety and Post Olympic Depression

Sometimes, it seems as if people with money, health, and success are immune to the effect of mental health issues. However, more and more prominent athletes and celebrities are opening up about their battles with depression, anxiety, and addiction. In the past, such revelations were so damaging to a celebrity’s image and career that the issues were kept hidden; but with growing understanding and acceptance of mental health struggles, more people are speaking out. It’s a positive cycle— every time someone is brave enough to speak out, awareness grows, and the world becomes a more welcoming place to people with mental illness.

In early 2018, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps revealed details of his own severe anxiety and the major depression that hits him after every Olympic games. Find out how he has learned to cope with this debilitating disease.

The Overwhelming Olympic Pressure

For Olympic athletes, the competitive pressure, media visibility, and physical exertion combine into an intense trio of forces that can incite severe anxiety. After the Olympics, many athletes report feeling a “crash,” in which they come down from the physical and mental height of the games and sink into depression. Olympic skier Nick Goepper experienced this type of “deep drop,” as he dubbed it in an interview; and it drove him to alcoholism so severe that he had to attend rehab for months.

Michael Phelps After the Games

The same type of crash affected Michael Phelps, saying that he thinks he fell into a major state of depression. He made the statement while speaking to attendees at a mental health conference in January of 2018.

According to Phelps, his worst episode came right after the London Games. He has just won two silver medals and four gold medals, but the success wasn’t enough to buoy his spirits. He stayed in his room for four days, without eating or sleeping. “I didn’t want to be in the sport anymore,” he says. “I didn’t want to be alive.” At his lowest point, he even thought about suicide.

A Long-Term Battle

Phelps has fought with anxiety and depression for 17 years, but he only spoke out about the issues within the past two years. “We’re supposed to be big, macho, physically strong human beings, but this is not a weakness,” he says. “We are seeking and reaching for help.”

With counseling and treatment, Phelps has regained his mental balance. He married his sweetheart and now has a young son, Boomer. The swimmer did express concern about the continuing stigma surrounding mental illness. “That’s something we deal with every day… I think people actually finally understand it is real. People are talking about it and I think this is the only way that it can change.”

Therapy for Depression in Singapore

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, found the courage to speak out about his anxiety and depression. For you, the first step may be seeking help for your depression in Singapore. Look for a psychiatrist or psychologist in Singapore who can help you recover from addiction, anxiety, and other issues that may go hand in hand with your depression. Instead of self-medicating with alcohol or other substances, find real and lasting help at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic – Psychiatrists and Psychologists for Mental Health in Singapore in Singapore.

Contact us today to start your new path to health and happiness.

News Feed by Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic