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Michael Phelps Opens up About His Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

20 January 2018

Far from the familiar waters of an Olympic pool, swimmer Michael Phelps shared the story of his personal encounter with depression at a mental health conference in Chicago this week.

Phelps said the "hardest fall" happened following the 2012 Olympics, even after he won four gold medals and two more silvers.

"Those moments and those feelings and those emotions for me are light years better than winning the Olympic gold medal", Phelps said. In an emotional interview with Bob Costas in 2016, Phelps talked about how he barely trained for the 2012 London Olympics, and he reflected on his 2014 DUI arrest. "I didn't want to be alive anymore", he said.

The swimming great Michael Phelps on Tuesday opened up about his battle with clinical depression and said that he considered committing suicide at one point.

He explained that after he finally started opening up he was able to live his most enjoyable life and considers publicly speaking up about mental health more powerful than winning an Olympic medal since it provides "the chance to save a life". "We are seeking and reaching for help". "I didn't want to be in the sport anymore". But, I wasn't ready, ' he said.

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The event changed the trajectory of his life and Phelps now finds himself in a much happier space, sharing a child and expecting a second with his wife Nicole Johnson, whom he secretly married in June 2016 after dating on and off for eight years, noted. However, he said seeing a surge in discussion over the past year has made hopeful for the future. He was also photographed weeks after the 2008 Beijing Olympics taking hits from a bong, which he later called "regrettable" behavior. "It would be just me self-medicating myself, basically daily, to try to fix whatever it was that I was trying to run from".

"I remember going to treatment on my very first day". However, it is of paramount need for the top athletes to overcome their issues and go higher in their career, an example of which is portrayed in the form of Michael Phelps.

".Life became easy [after going for the treatments and beginning to talk about his feelings]". Looking back on his thoughts of suicide, Phelps said, "I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life".

He said that mental health was still a taboo subject but it was starting to change, with dialogue shifting people's understanding of the illness.

Drugs were a way of running from "whatever it was I wanted to run from", he said.

Michael Phelps Opens up About His Depression and Suicidal Thoughts