We all know Michael Phelps as one of the greatest athletes in the history of Olympics. His monumental 8-gold medal winning performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics made him a household name across the world. After struggling to find motivation following this feat, he returned successfully at the London Olympics in 2012 to grab four more golds and followed it up with five of them at his last appearance at the games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
However, the man who was the most successful athlete at four consecutive Olympics was having a horrid time in personal life. He was battling his inner mental demons that almost pushed him to the unimaginable step of taking his own life. It was thanks to his decision of seeking help from a professional therapist that ended up putting his life back on track.
The retired champion took to Twitter to reveal his mental travails and also his way out of them. "I struggled with anxiety and depression and questioned whether or not I wanted to be alive anymore. It was when I hit this low that I decided to reach out and ask for the help of a licensed therapist. This decision ultimately helped save my life. You don't have to wait for things," the man with 28 Olympic medals declared.
He also shared a stat about the widespread prevalence of mental illness around the globe and his latest effort to help those afflicted by it. The American also encouraged people being tormented by these diseases to seek help and not look upon therapy as something to be ashamed about. "Did you know that one in four people around the world experience a mental health issue? I was one of them. That's why I've teamed up with Talkspace this Mental Health Awareness Month –– to let you know that getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness," the 33-year old mentioned.
Talkspace is an online therapy provider based in New York. By bringing Phelps on board, they hope to bring more people out of their shell in combating mental health issues. Certainly, when a superstar like him reveals his own vulnerabilities, it de-stigmatises the very idea psychological ailments.