The world’s most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps, opens up about his vulnerability, swimming as an escape, and how therapy changed his life - in this exclusive interview:
“While I had a lot of success in the swimming pool, I also struggled with anxiety and depression so I understand how difficult it can be for people to address mental health challenges,” says Phelps. “In sharing my own journey, I would like to help people understand that it’s okay to not be okay, and that asking for help isn’t a sign a weakness but rather a sign of strength and courage.”
Phelps recently announced a partnership with Talkspace, which helps connect anyone with therapists through a computer, tablet or smartphone. “I was scared to go in somewhere and be judged,” says Michael. Talkspace helps break the barriers – especially for those who are reluctant to seek-out help in person, or may not have the financial means. “Every day is not going to be perfect,” he explains, “but it gives me tools to help work through things.”
“Saving a life is much more important to me than winning a gold medal,” Michael concludes. “You are not alone.”
For more positive strokes, check out the Michael Phelps Foundation: https://michaelphelpsfoundation.org.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression and thinking of suicide, know that someone is always there. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255; or text ‘TALK’ to 741-741.
Follow the conversation on Twitter and Instagram (@ImListening_org) using #ImListening.