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Depression can be tough, but it is treatable - Ian Thorpe proves it

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 15 October, 2012 - 1:29 PM
Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe is arguably Australia’s greatest sportsman.

Five Olympic gold medals, at 14 years of age he was the youngest swimmer to represent Australia, and six hold at one world titles.

He was the most successful athlete at the Sydney Games: 3 Gold, 2 Silver.

He was an extraordinary swimmer, and he did much of it drunk, depressed, and taking medication for his mental health.

He has explained this in his autobiography, some of which was released at the weekend.

This really shows me how strong Thorpe is. What he has done here could be as important as his swimming.

He admits to being suicidal, he admits to heavy drinking – which he hid. He says he has been treated for depression for a long time and taken medication for it.

He talks about the highs of gold not being as high because he was medicated. He talks about world titles not giving him the huge buzz for the same reason.

And the best thing, he survives. He is getting on with life.

There are a couple of messages here: how far we have come and how a person can hide it.

Ian Thorpe can talk openly about his mental health and nobody mocks or shuns him, people only admire him. But he hid his problems even from those closest to him.

The message then is, don’t be ashamed. Confront it, deal with it and get help – particularly if you are suicidal.

Share it. Depression is treatable, it can be tough, but it is treatable. Ian Thorpe proves it.

For help and information about depression contact Lifeline, 131 114, or www.lifeline.org.au; beyondblue, 1300 224 636, or www.beyondblue.org.au.

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Blog comments Your Say

  • Firstly, there is no way he is our greatest sportsman. He was always over rated. Secondly whilst depression is a very serious issue and needs to be treated asap, he seems more like a sook. Funny how all these things come out just as he is writing a book, but has he let all of his secrets out f the closet? I doubt it.

    Ric Flair Monday 15 October, 2012 - 2:22 PM
  • The cynics out here might say this news is a great teaser,especially during a book launch...Then,you would have to be cynical-wouldn't you!

    jgl Melb Monday 15 October, 2012 - 2:06 PM

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