We’ve all seen the stories – celebrities admitting they have mental health problems, seeking treatment, and leaving the facilities “all better” and returning to whatever it is they do that has put their life in the spotlight. Michael Phelps, one of the best Olympic swimmers of all time, knows better. And unlike most, he is open about his depression.
“The thing is – and people who live with mental health issues all know this – it never goes away,” he said. “You have good days and bad. But there’s never a finish line. I’ve done so many interviews after [the 2016 Olympics] where the story was the same: Michael Phelps opened up about depression, went into a treatment program, won gold in his last Olympics and now is all better. I wish that were the truth.”
The struggle with mental health issues does not just go away. We are only given ways to manage the problem. We are told to seek out professionals to talk about it or given pharmaceuticals that may cloud our thought processes, or we face it with the ones we trust. These methods work for getting through the lows, but they do not prevent us from having those lows. But at least we are now getting a better understanding of the mental health struggles, thanks to the honest narratives like Michael Phelps’.