All you need to know about Michael Phelps’s illness.

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Michael Phelps is widely considered to be the greatest living swimmer. He has won 28 Olympic medals, including 23 gold, and has set numerous world records. However, despite his overwhelming success in the pool, Phelps has been exceedingly open about his difficulties with his mental wellness.

In an interview with a source in 2018, Phelps discussed his mental health struggles. He admitted to struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts following the 2012 Olympics. Phelps stated that he had reached a “low point” in his life and “didn’t want to be alive anymore.”

Phelps’ mental health issues are not exactly unusual among elite athletes. In fact, a study accepted for publication in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that elite athletes are more likely than the general population to suffer from mental health issues. This is due to a number of factors, including performance pressure, injuries, and the transition out of sport.

The Need To Perform

Elite athletes, such as Michael Phelps, are under enormous pressure to achieve maximum success. They’ve spent years training and sacrificing to compete in the Olympics or other major events, and the stakes are high. This stress can be overwhelming, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Phelps has spoken about the anxiety he felt in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. He stated that he felt compelled to dominate every competition and break every record possible, because anything less would be considered a failure. This type of pressure can have a negative impact on an athlete’s mental wellbeing and be difficult to manage.

Injuries

Sports injuries are common, and they can be extremely detrimental for elite athletes. Injury issues can force athletes to miss training and competitive pressure, and they can even put an end to a career. This can have a significant impact on an athlete’s mental health because they may feel as if they are failing themselves and their team.

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

Throughout his career, Phelps has suffered a number of injuries. In 2007, he broke his wrist, and in 2010, he tore his rotator cuff, which once again required surgery. Because of his injuries, he was unable to train or compete, which was a tough transition for him.

The Makeshift Out Of Sport

Retirement from sport can be a difficult experience for athletes, especially those who have already achieved a great deal of accomplishment. Transitioning out of sports can be difficult because athletes may feel a loss of purpose or identity. Depression as well as additional mental health issues can result from this.

Phelps announced his retirement from swimming just after 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Even though he had more success compared to every other swimmer in historical memory, he struggled to adapt to life out of sport. Phelps told a source that he felt he had lost his purpose and identity after stepping down from swimming. This is a common and difficult feeling among retired athletes.

Michael Phelps posing with all his gold medals.
Michael Phelps posing with all his gold medals.

The Value Of Mental Health Care

Michael Phelps’ candour about his mental health issues has raised consciousness regarding the significance of assistance with mental health for athletes. In order to successfully deal with the stresses and difficulties of elite sport, athletes must have access to mental health resources such as counselling and therapy.

Many sports organisations are now taking the necessary steps to prioritise athlete mental health support. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has established a task force on mental health to develop psychological health resources and support for athletes. The National Basketball Association (NBA) too has provided its players with mental health support, including access to counselling and therapy.

In conclusion, Michael Phelps’ story is a powerful reminder of the importance of mental health and awareness towards its wellbeing.

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