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“Part of My Life Forever”- Michael Phelps Once Admitted the Dark Side of His Mental Health in a Heartbreaking Confession

Published 05/21/2022, 1:15 PM EDT

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Sportspersons have obsessed over physical fitness for a long time while neglecting mental health altogether. However, the narrative has started changing, and athletes are now focusing on mental health. Notably, among a few, Michael Phelps is one forerunner on this topic.

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In recent times, we have seen Phelps leading the talk on mental health. Time and again, the athlete has opened up about his personal struggles with depression in interviews and talk shows. Once, the GOAT made a similar observation while speaking with the host at a prominent event.


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Phelps’ thoughts on mental health

The 28-time Olympic medalist is among the first athletes to initiate the conversation on mental health. Therefore, he came to the support of Simone Biles when she withdrew from multiple events at the Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health concerns.

However, his stance on the issue is not new, as evident from a previous interview at the 17th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. In the interview, Phelps discussed the topic of mental health amongst sportspersons.


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Although athletes nowadays have begun emphasizing mental health, it was not the case some years from now.

When the interviewer, meaning to understand the sudden rise in instances, asked Michael about the changes, he replied, “I think that the biggest thing is that we all need to understand is that it’s okay to not be okay.”

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“We’re human beings, we’re gonna go through ups and downs. We’re gonna have struggles. It’s the way of life you know. If life was easy then it wouldn’t be as fun,” added Phelps, emphasizing that life is not all peaches and cream.

Continuing on this note, the swimmer added, “I still have days where I go through the struggle. I still have depression spells, I still deal with anxiety. It’s something that’s gonna be a part of my life forever.”

However, Phelps stressed that trying to learn from these experiences has helped him immensely. In the interview, he said, “I just try to grow and to learn from each experience but prepare myself even more than I ever have before.

The athlete also pointed out that people have started acknowledging their struggle with mental health these days because they are “showing their human side.

The real struggles of Michael Phelps

In the interview, Phelps also introspects what helps him through his battle with depression. The swimmer acknowledged that he still has to deal with depression spells and anxiety attacks from time to time.


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Retrospecting on the matter, he added, “It’s something that’s gonna be a part of my life forever, and it’s what makes me, me.

Therefore, Phelps has made peace with himself and his struggles with mental health. And he hopes to learn from his experiences and prepare himself better for the future through them.


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When people see their favorite athletes open up about their mental health struggles, it provides them the encouragement they need to come forward and address their struggles as well. Truly, athletes like Phelps are helping spread awareness on a matter that was in dire need of attention.

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Written by:

Aklanta Chetia


One take at a time

Aklanta Chetia Wanniang is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi. With an interest in learning about multiple sports, Aklanta himself is a former sportsperson and has participated in state and national level swimming events.
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Edited by:

Melroy Fernandes