Mental health issues can affect anyone, even an Olympic medalist like Grant Hackett. According to reports, the Australian swimmer was jailed temporarily after an episode of rage that forced his family to call the authorities. Family members also expressed concern for Hackett’s mental health.

Grant Hackett’s Glory Days

Hackett participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, winning the 1500m freestyle both times. He also swam at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In addition to his medals, Hackett gained four world titles. He is considered one of the greatest swimmers Australia has produced.

An Attempted Return

After his big wins, Hackett retired. His six years away from swimming were troubled by various incidents and involved issues with drinking and bouts of odd behaviour. At age 36, Hackett decided to get back into the pool and attempt a spot at the Rio Olympics. Had he qualified, he would have been Australia’s oldest swimmer to go to the Olympics. However, he wasn’t quite fast enough.

The Airplane Incident

In April 2016, Grant Hackett caused an incident on a plane. He had been drinking heavily before boarding, and he met a man who had recently been in Adelaide, where the Olympic swim trials took place. Drunk and angered by his own failure to get an Olympic spot, Hackett pinched the man’s nipple. The offensive act took place in business class and caused a disturbance during the flight. Hackett later apologised and promised fans that he would stop drinking.

A Violent Outburst

Unfortunately, the incident wasn’t the last one. In early 2017, Hackett’s family called the police. Grant Hackett was at their Southport home on the Gold Coast, and his binge-drinking had sent him into a terrible rage. Hackett was arrested at the home and later released.

Family Concerns

Neville Hackett, the swimmer’s father, told reporters,” Grant’s got a medical problem and it manifested itself here this morning … he was raving and ranting… It’s what I’d call a bit of a breakdown.” The Olympic medalist’s brother, Craig Hackett, informed the media that “This is now a chronic problem … so, from a mental health perspective, I hope something can be done. This is not Grant Hackett, this is a completely different person. I don’t know this person, my mum and dad don’t know this person. He’s there in body, but he is not there in mind, in soul, or spirit.”

The Pressures of Athletic Achievement

Athletes are often under extreme pressure. They follow strict diet plans and adhere to rigorous training schedules. When an athlete is prepping for a big event, such as the Olympics, everything he or she consumes is carefully monitored and gauged for its impact on overall physical health. For a swimmer like Grant Hackett, hours of training are involved, but the drive to become a gold medalist goes beyond the time spent in the pool. This kind of emotional stress and intense pressure can contribute to mental health issues.

Help for a Crisis

Do you know someone who seems to be cracking under pressure, perhaps resorting to the bottle or to drugs for relief and escape? If you or a loved one are experiencing depression, addiction, or a personal breakdown, seek help from a psychiatrist in Singapore immediately. Contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic today to find caring, experienced professionals who can guide you back to better mental health.

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Source: Yahoo! News, Feb 15, 2017