Michael Phelps is arguably the most successful Olympic athlete of all time; with a medal count of 23 golds, three silver and two bronzes under his belt at just 32 years old. However, success does not always come without some adversity, and Phelps has had his share of it. In this interview piece, Phelps discusses the highs and lows of his career and personal life, including his “rock bottom” when he was arrested for drunk driving in 2014. As we learn from this interview, even someone as coveted as Michael Phelps is not immune from contemplating suicide.
According to Statistics Canada, males are more than three times more likely to commit suicide than females, and middle-aged persons (40-59 years) have the highest suicide rates in Canada. Additionally, Suicide Prevention Canada’s website states that there is a “hidden epidemic” among middle aged men in relation to suicide. Where we previously saw the younger male age group at the highest risk, it is now affecting men later in life. Other significant risk factors include; health concerns, marital issues as well as financial burdens. The most prevalent risk factor for individuals who have committed suicide is mental illness and further to that – depression. Depression is the most common illness among those who die from suicide, with approximately 60% suffering from this condition.
Perhaps more than ever before, men are living with the fear of expressing emotions such as shame, guilt, love, sadness and anxiety. Further to this, a man’s perception of his own masculinity and the worry of how others perceive it can have a serious and negative impact on their mental health. As Michael Phelps noted in the video, he was afraid to reach out for help, but reaching out was ultimately what saved him. At The Therapy Centre, we have experienced and dedicated clinicians on staff available to provide Suicide and Crisis Management and treat concerns such as Depression, Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Anxiety, Mood Disorders and Trauma. With offices located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville, and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, we are easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth and Niagara Region.
Halton COAST (Crisis and Outreach Support Team) 24/7 crisis line: 1-877-825-9011
Coy Wire. (2017, April 24). CNN Interview – Michael Phelps Conquered Adversity, Suicidal Thoughts. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_Zc6Uqd4ow&t=21s.
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