Depression can affect anyone, even those whom we may consider extremely successful people. One such person is Michael Phelps, an Olympic swimmer with the world record for the individual with the most gold medals (23). Despite his fame and achievements, he admits he has contemplated suicide.
“I thought it would make things easier,” Phelps recalled. “I almost felt like it would be better for everybody if I wasn’t there".
However, what helped Phelps during his depression was communication. He realized that "it's OK to not be OK" and that talking about it is "the only way it can change".
Now Phelps has established a partnership with Talkspace, an online therapy provider and hopes to encourage others to take the same route he did in seeking help.
I really agree with this sentiment. All too often, people who have never struggled with depression are incredibly judgmental and close-minded when it comes to the topic of external validation. For many of them, especially those from an older generation, if someone has reached the top of their field or has had great success in whatever way they quantify it, then it is not possible for them to be depressed. Success (material or otherwise) does not mean that mental illness can't affect a person. Depression does not discriminate between age, gender, race, or sexuality.