Swim superstar Cate Campbell reveals shock health diagnosis she received before the Tokyo Olympics – and the moment she finally admitted she needed medical help
- Swimming star Cate Campbell, 29, reveals she was diagnosed with depression
- She was treated for depression four weeks out from the Tokyo Olympic games
- The Aussie swimmer shared her mental health battle via her Instagram on Friday
- Campbell hopes her story will spark more conversations around mental health
Australian swimming star Cate Campbell has revealed how she held off getting medical help for her depression as she trained for the Tokyo Games.
The 29-year-old opened up about her depression diagnosis last year, revealing she only reached out for professional health four weeks out from her fourth Olympics.
Campbell spoke candidly of the news via Instagram on Friday, hoping her story would encourage more conversations around mental health struggles.
‘In July 2020 I was diagnosed with depression, in June 2021 — four weeks before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, I finally admitted I needed some medical help, and I am so grateful I did,’ she wrote.
‘Mental health is not a sign of weakness. It does not discriminate. It is very real, and most of us will face it at some point in our lives.’
Australian swimming star Cate Campbell (pictured) has opened up about her battle with depression in a candid Instagram post
Ms Campbell, who has won eight Olympic medals, said she would have sought out help earlier than she did if conversations about mental health were more common.
‘So I am sharing my story in the hopes it will prompt a conversation in your household, dispel a stigma, or encourage you to be a bit kinder to the person next to you,’ she continued.
‘I still struggle to not feel shame around my mental health, so please be kind.’
Campbell elaborated on her experience in an intimate first-person essay published to Mamamia that detailed her struggles and inner demons.
‘It was like my brain transformed into a dark vortex, sucking me in. While I was trapped in the deep, inky well, neon words flashed before my eyes. They said: ‘You’re weak’. ‘You should be able to get over this’. ‘You’re pathetic’. ‘You’re better than this’. ‘Your life is good’. ‘What’s wrong with you?’ she wrote.
‘It was a deep, unending, unbearable sadness. On a scale I had not experienced previously — and one which I would have scorned prior to my diagnosis. The weight of it crushed me.’
Campbell wrote she was treated for depression just four week out from the Tokyo Games in an Instagram post (pictured)
Eventually the swimming star began seeing a clinical psychologist but continued to struggle with self-confidence as training for the Tokyo Games ramped up.
She described reaching the Olympic trials and becoming ‘paralysed by an overwhelming sense of impending doom’ but still managed to secure her place.
Overcome with fear and emotion in lead up to Japan, Campbell decided to seek help from a GP and began taking medication to treat her anxiety and depression.
Despite admitting she initially believed opting for medication was ‘the easy way out’, the swimmer began to notice positive changes and started ‘thinking more clearly’.
Campbell later went on to take out gold in the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team and 4×100 medley relay team at the Tokyo Olympics.
Her stellar performance also saw her take home an individual bronze medal in the 100m freestyle race.
‘I still struggle to not feel shame around my mental health, so please be kind,’ she wrote