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Michael Phelps and Wife Nicole Discuss the Impact of Depression on Their Relationship

Laura Beatham
Feb 06, 2021
11:50 A.M.

Michael Phelps and his wife got candid about the impact depression has had on their relationship and how they cope when he is depressed.


The Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, and his wife, Nicole, spoke candidly to Today and discussed how his depression has impacted their relationship and how they cope.

The couple spoke in a virtual interview with Carson Daly about how depression has impacted their relationship and how they cope and help their children understand what he is going through.

Michael and Nicole Phelps pictured attending the Kids Choice Sports Awards, 2017, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Michael and Nicole Phelps pictured attending the Kids Choice Sports Awards, 2017, California. | Photo: Getty Images

She revealed that she is vocal about making sure their three children, Boomer, Becket, and Maverick, know that Phelps is having a bad day.

Nicole shared that their eldest son, Boomer, will try to make his dad happy and that she has to explain to him that his dad's feelings are not about him but Michael himself. She shared:


"So we’ll say, ‘Hey Booms, Daddy’s having a hard time and just needs to take a moment to be alone.’"


Michael had opened up about his mental health struggles after the 2016 Olympics and became an advocate for mental health awareness.

The Olympian founded the Michael Phelps Foundation, which helps kids stay physically and mentally healthy by giving them access to swimming lessons and participating in mental health issues.

She has been seeing a therapist to cope with the trauma surrounding the thought of a life without her husband.


In the interview, he shared that one of the tools he uses when feeling overwhelmed is to retreat to a quiet room when he feels overwhelmed. He will use the space to calm down.

He revealed that his depression fluctuates as some days he will feel great, but he will not want to leave his bed on other days. In the interview, he said:

"I can wake up and I can feel like I'm on top of the world, and I can do absolutely anything and everything."


Nicole shared that she supports Michael by reminding him that she is there for him, not judging him and that she will not tell him that he cannot feel a certain way.

She shared that she has been seeing a therapist to cope with the trauma surrounding the thought of a life without her husband, as after Kobe Bryant died, she became worried that something might happen to Michael.


She shared that the therapy was helping her to understand how to support Michael. The couple also regularly work out together, as Phelps' schedule was badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many celebrities are affected by mental health struggles and have been open about mental health. Stars such as Miley Cyrus, Adele, and Dakota Johnson have all been vocal about mental health.

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