Michael Phelps’ Father ‘Resisted the Idea of Medication’ in His Childhood When He Was Detected With a Health Disorder

Published 10/17/2022, 9:00 AM EDT

Follow Us

via Imago

Look for the person who has won the most Olympic medals, and you will find Michael Phelps. The swimming giant has won 28 Olympic medals, including 23 gold, three silver, and two bronze. But Phelps’s life was not always a cakewalk, especially during his childhood.

The most decorated swimmer, Michael Phelps, was diagnosed with ADHD in school. Phelps’s mother, Debbie Phelps, revealed his father’s reactions to Michael’s medication in her book ‘A Mother for All Seasons.’


Article continues below this ad

How Michael’s father reacted

Debbie said that Michael’s physicians recommended medications for ADHD, but Michael Phelps’s father, Fred, wasn’t open to that. “It didn’t go over well with Fred, who resisted the idea that his son might need medication,” remarked Debbie. Debbie claimed that she had taught students who had ADHD and were on medications. Her experience made her believe that medications could help him get better in school.

via Getty

Besides, we weren’t in the classroom with him all day, so if it could help him become a better learner and be even more successful in school, why wouldn’t we try?” said Debbie. Michael Phelps was then given medication to help him get better.


Get instantly notified of the hottest Swimming stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

“Don’t Care if They Label With ADHD”: Michael Phelps’ Mother Refused to Give Up on His Son Despite Teachers Making a Claim He Will Never Succeed Due to Medical Struggles

According to his mother, Michael Phelps started getting good grades, primarily As and Bs, after starting the meds. He even started showing extraordinary talent in sports and, shortly after, made a giant leap in the pool.

Debbie always believed in Michael Phelps


Article continues below this ad

For Debbie, Michael was never less than other children. She believed in him from the beginning and didn’t let his disorder hinder his success.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) 

Debbie figured out that what Michael needed the most was structure. According to her, children with ADHD were very creative and could pioneer in their areas of passion. She proved her statement by setting her son as an example for everyone.


Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Swimming Legend Michael Phelps’ Top 5 Iconic Career Races

In the later years of his life, Phelps developed anxiety issues and depression. He has been in rehab and therapy, leading him to where he is today. Since then, he has been a mental health advocate and never shies away from discussing his mental health struggles.


Written by:

Somya Jain


One take at a time

Somya Jain is a US Sports author at EssentiallySports. She has been a Psychology student for six years, holds a Master’s degree from Panjab University, Chandigarh, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D.
Show More>

Edited by:

Gurjyot Singh Dadial