It was in 2014, following a second drink driving charge and a six-month suspension from USA Swimming, that Michael Phelps started to talk.
It wasn’t easy at first. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist had suffered a downward spiral that had got so bad he confined himself to one room for five days.
But talking has helped and Phelps — the most decorated Olympian of all time who retired after Rio 2016 — can now speak openly about his struggle with depression.
“It’s a dark, dark road sometimes and you just want to make sure you are staying open,” 33-year-old Phelps tells CNN.
“I’m very comfortable talking to my wife, I’m comfortable talking with a therapist … but in the beginning I wasn’t.”