August 4, 2018

Michael Phelps Wants People To Use Talkspace - He Would Have During His Stint Of Alcoholism And Depression, But He Wasn't Aware Of It Back Then

Since every single person who reads this piece was born, being faced with chronic pain, major or minor sicknesses, and other physical ailments has always been acceptable. Talking about the symptoms of such problems has been commonplace throughout relatively recent history and - believe it or not - for the past several hundred years, if not even longer than that.

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Mental health issues, however, haven't been embraced as intimately as their physical counterparts. The stigma against mental health problems has been lifted somewhat in recent years, though it's still very much alive and affects people on a minute-by-minute basis.

In the United States, expert sources haling from the federal government's finest health-related agencies suggest that some 20 percent of Americans suffer from one or more mental health issues at any given time. Since these disorders are so common, why haven't we embraced them as a society thus far? Seemingly nobody has the answer, but we do, fortunately, have a solution - it's not an absolute solution, but it's still an effective solution, nonetheless: Talkspace.

What is Talkspace?

As its name suggests, Talkspace is an organization through which licensed healthcare service providers like psychotherapists and counselors are joined with clients in need of treatment handled through communication such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Oren and Roni Frank's co-creation operates primarily via a mobile app, though it also allows clients to talk to one another via audio chats or phone calls, text message back and forth traditionally, or simply utilize its mobile application's interface to communicate with each other.

Michael Phelps - the world-class swimmer - suffers from mental health problems, too

Although Michael Phelps' mental health issues - particularly substance abuse disorder as related to alcohol, depression, and anxiety - are well-handled as of today, he went through a dim, dank, dark period a handful of years ago in which he "questioned whether [he] wanted to be alive anymore."

Phelps realized after his months-long alcoholic binge was over that the stigma tied to mental health problems and their treatment - it makes no sense that both having psychological disorders and doing the right thing and staking out treatment are illegal, though that's a modern fact of reality - was the biggest obstacle standing in between the hell he was living in during the peak of his stint as a full-blown alcoholic and the recovered state he's in now and has been for a few years without a single relapse.

As such, he felt partnering with the likes of the company Oren Frank founded would help both cut down on the stigma and negativity associated with mental problems and also help others by funneling others towards the talkspace app.

Phelps believes that he would have been a big fan of the online therapy provided by the talkspace app because he "hadn't left [his] room for five days" during one of the lowest moments of his depressive episode. Being able to reach out to mental health professionals and seek online therapy would have likely encouraged him to seek help far sooner than he eventually did.

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