MICHAEL PHELPS OPENS UP ABOUT DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE

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Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps revealed he suffered with depression and contemplated suicide at a mental health conference in Chicago this week. The 28 year old swimmer told an audience at the fourth annual conference of the Kennedy Forum, a behavioral health advocacy group, his battle against anxiety, depression. and suicidal thoughts. "You do contemplate suicide", he said. "Really, after every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression. I would say '04 was probably the first depression spell I went through." 

 

Phelps "all-time low" included him sitting alone for "three to five days" in his bedroom, not eating, barely sleeping and "just not wanting to be alive," he said. Finally, Phelps knew he needed help. "I remember going to treatment my very first day, I was shaking, shaking because I was nervous about the change that was coming up." Today he understands that "it's OK to not be OK" and that mental illness "has a stigma around it and that's something we still deal with every day." 

 

He has implemented stress management into programs offered by the Michael Phelps Foundation and works with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.