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Even Olympic Athletes Suffer Depression

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Even Olympic Athletes Suffer Depression

/U.S. Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt, 26, is making waves when it comes to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.

This week, the Olympian, who finished second in the women’s 4X100m freestyle relay, spoke candidly about her own struggles with depression and how therapy and the support of her friends, family, and coach have helped her battle through.

“When I woke up in the morning, I would look forward to going back to bed. As soon as my alarm went off, I knew that it’s time for practice. But my thoughts were, ‘Okay when can I get back into bed,” Schmitt told TODAY‘s Jenna Bush Hager.

Signs of Depression?

While the symptoms of depression can vary, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, the most commonly reported signs include:

  • Feeling sad or “empty”
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Feeling very tired
  • Not being able to concentrate or remember details
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems

There’s No Shame in Depression Treatment

Schmitt is further proof that depression can happen to anyone — and that it’s not a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of. Depressive illnesses are serious and affect more than 19 million American adults, occurring most frequently in women ages 25 to 44.

Fortunately, depression is very treatable. More than 80 percent of people with depression are treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both, according to Mental Health America. If you or someone you love is showing signs of depression, take a cue from Schmitt and get the help you need.

Addiction, Depression, and Trauma Treatment at Red Oak

One out of three depressed people also suffers from some form of substance use or dependence. The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® is a clinically dynamic, trauma-informed treatment center that addresses the underlying emotional issues that are fueling self-destructive thoughts and behavior. To learn more, call: 866.457.7426.