Michael Phelps opens up about suicidal thoughts

Brian Tinsman
May 27, 2019 - 12:43 am

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


No one is immune to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.

Michael Phelps is one of the most gifted athletes in the world and the most decorated Olympian in history. He still has his youth and now has his own family, and is reportedly worth $60 million dollars.

Yet, on Saturday, he took to Twitter to announce that even he had to overcome thoughts of self-harm and inability to go on.

His advice was simple: get professional help as soon as that happens:

The message, which is good for any month, comes at the tail-end of Mental Health Awareness Month.

In a separate video that he also posted on Twitter, Phelps talks about how he hit his low point in October 2014, after he had come back from retirement to make one last Olympic run. It's hard to know from the outside what triggered the suicidal response, but then that's really the point: sometimes it's obvious to others, and most of the time it is not.

"I realized I couldn't handle this by myself," he said. "You don't have to wait for it to get that bad."

Phelps' fairytale athletic career ending could have ended very differently if he hadn't reached out for help. The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.


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