I appreciate this statement by Michael Phelps as someone who has gotten help in the past for depression and other issues.
“For the longest time, I thought asking for help was a sign of weakness because that’s kind of what society teaches us,” Phelps says. “That’s especially true from an athlete’s perspective. If we ask for help, then we’re not this big macho athlete that people can look up to. Well, you know what? If someone wants to call me weak for asking for help, that’s their problem. Because I’m saving my own life.”
The other thing this article makes crystal clear is that even amid all the media attention, and pressure, as well as the social media feedback and talking heads discussion, world-famous athletes are still human beings like the rest of us. It’s sometimes a bit too easy to forget that. Being reminded that they too deal with depression and other mental health issues at similar rates to the rest of society may help us remember that while they may be immensely talented in one area, they are just people in the end.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of that.