Baltimore-native Olympian Michael Phelps is spreading the word bout anxiety in a new documentary. The swimmer and father of two announced his involvement in the project last week. In the film, titled “Angst,” he opens up about his own mental health challenges, speaking with a young fan about the dangers of keeping your feelings to yourself. He also touches on his own struggles with being bullied and depressed early in life, which led to his own anxiety.
“Once I opened up about that and things that I had kept inside of me for so many years, I then found that life was a lot easier,” Phelps explains candidly on screen. “I got to the point where I understood that it’s OK to not be OK.”
“Angst” was produced by the independent film distributor and online streaming service Indieflix to be screened at schools and community centers, ABC2 reports. The goal is to reach 3 million people worldwide with its release, though it’s not currently available in a full theatrical release. Rather, the film can mostly be seen at one-off screenings around the country.
The official website for “Angst” enthusiastically invites the public to organize and host their own screenings, offering affordable fees and additional moderator tools as needed. The film features interviews with people of all ages about their individual struggles with anxiety, alongside advice, and suggestions for finding the right resources from mental health professionals.
And who better than a near super-human to argue the point that everyone suffers from stress and social anxieties?