Olympic legend Michael Phelps has battled with depression since calling time on his swimming career after the Rio Games in 2016. The 35-year-old has candidly talked about his battle with depression which was one of the key topics in last year's documentary the 'Weight of Gold'. Now, Phelps' wife Nicole Johnson is worried about losing her husband, triggered by the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant last year.
Michel Phelps has been candid about his battle with depression and suicidal ideation. His wife Nicole Johnson has revealed that the death of Kobe Bryant prompted her to worry about life without the 23-time Olympic gold medallist. In an interview with Today Parents, Nicole said, "After Vanessa [Bryant] lost Kobe, all I could do was look at Michael and be like, ‘Can we please help you? Because if I lose you, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Michael is the most amazing father and partner I could have ever asked for". However, the 35-year-old said that she came to the realisation she can't take ownership for how her husband is feeling and cannot 'fix him' or be his therapist.
Michael Phelps and his wife have three kids: Boomer, 4, Beckett, 2, and Maverick, 16 months, but the Olympic legend's battle with depression also affects his time with the kids. Nicole reveals that the kids try to make him happy when the 35-year-old is having a rough day, but it is important to make them understand it’s not about them, it’s about Michael. At the same time, Phelps wants the kids to learn that his struggles are part of life and that they shouldn’t be ashamed about struggling with their mental health. The former swimmer also realises that supporting him can take an emotional toll on Nicole.
Between taking care of their three children, supporting Michael emotionally during his bouts with depression, and dealing with the emotional trauma about possibly losing him, Nicole started seeing a therapist. Nicole also began meditating and journaling to process her feelings better. Together, it helped Nicole get to a better place to help Michael, their kids, and herself. Nicole revealed that the phase has helped them grow together, and while it has not been easy, she's luckily married to the most incredible human being.