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Saturday, 6 May 2017

I remember sitting in my room for days, not wanting to be alive – Most decorated Olympian

I remember sitting in my room for days, not wanting to be alive – Most decorated Olympian
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history, as well as a meme icon. Given these lofty accomplishments, you're forgiven if you assumed Phelps never battles feelings of depression and hopelessness.

Wrong, says Phelps. And he has a message for others dealing with depression: Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Phelps, along with fellow Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt, opened up before a live audience in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, which was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

Phelps, per USA Today, said he was afflicted by feelings of depression after coming home from Olympics glory. "For me getting to an all-time low where I didn’t want to be alive anymore, that’s scary as hell," he said, according to the paper. .

"Thinking about taking your own life, I remember sitting in my room for four or five days not wanting to be alive, not talking to anybody. That was a struggle for me ... For me, I reached that point where I finally realized I couldn’t do it alone."

That last part is a message he hopes others can learn from: "I want people to understand that there are times that you are going to have to reach out."
Schmitt, who's won eight Olympic swimming medals, said she battled depression for years and has gone to therapy for help.

"Mental illness is something you deal with every day, just because you go to a psychologist, just because you’re feeling better one day doesn’t mean it’s gone; doesn’t mean you’re healed," she said at Thursday's event, per USA Today.

"It’se something you have and you live with the rest of your life. Learning ways to cope with it, learning ways to live with it is what we do." 

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