Michael Phelps considered himself “not a human being” as Olympian struggled with mental health issues

<strong>Michael Phelps considered himself “not a human being” as Olympian struggled with mental health issues</strong>

Michael Phelps [Image Credit: Swimming World]

GOAT of the swimming world Michael Phelps addressed his mental struggles pointing out that one time he didn’t even consider himself a “human being”. He said that he started developing suicidal tendencies and substance abuse. 


Recently not only Phelps, but many great sportspersons have started addressing their mental issues. Phelps himself admitted that at first, he didn’t want to take medical assistance as he considered it a “sign of weakness”.

Being in the top elite circle of players, he couldn’t afford to show his weakness to the world. Phelps later corrects himself saying that it would be way better if people started acting cautiously and taking care of themselves first before thinking of public image.

Related: “Don’t want the kids to see me like that”: How Michael Phelps swam underwater to hide his mental battles before own children


Michael Phelps talks about the importance of journaling to relieve stress

Michael Phelps [Image Credit: Detroit Free Pass]
Michael Phelps [Image Credit: Detroit Free Pass]

Michael Phelps said, “When I was competing, I considered myself a swimmer, not a human being. I was just some kid with a cap and goggles who was pretty good at going up and down the pool.” Later after talking to an online-behavioral health company, he started seeing things differently.

Phelps said that when an athlete is competing at the highest level, it is easier to forget to take care of oneself. Even in 2021, Olympian Simone Biles took leave from the spotlight to take care of herself. Even NBA star Tyrell Terry ended up retiring because of anxiety.

Phelps notes that though there have been players speaking about the issue, there are still some who prefer to hide their weakness, “I think the stigma is still there, but the door is open a little bit to allow people to talk about it”. “It’s saving lives.”

He continued saying, “If you go to a training room or weight room for any college or pro team, they’re going to have anything and everything they possibly need. If that’s the case, why don’t we have another section devoted to mental health?”


He accepted that he was “scared as hell” to go to his therapy sessions at first, but taking the first step helped him find himself once again. He said that journaling is a great way to help oneself, as it frees emotions and thoughts onto paper.

“If you want to start off the new year by prioritizing your mental health, then let’s get into a rhythm or routine of good habits”. “Focus on what you can control every day.” 

“I didn’t take care of myself fully for 20 years. By starting from the top, prioritizing mental health, doing it on a daily routine has given me the chance to become a better version of myself,” Phelps noted.

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