Olympian Michael Phelps said he considered taking his own life on numerous occasions at the height of his career.
Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, opened up about his depression while speaking at a mental health conference in Chicago this week.
Phelps said he first contemplated suicide after the Athens 2004 Olympics and only sought professional help following London 2012, after reaching an "all-time low".
"Really, after every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression," said Phelps, "You do contemplate suicide."
"I remember going to treatment on my very first day. I was shaking because I was nervous about the change that was coming up."
Phelps said he realised the extent of his problems after the Games in 2012, when he locked himself in his bedroom for "three to five days".
"I didn't want to be in the sport anymore … I didn't want to be alive anymore," he said.
He went on to win five gold medals and one silver in Rio, but said the emotions of overcoming his mental health issues were far greater than those from winning his Olympic titles.
"Those moments and those feelings and those emotions for me are light years better than winning the Olympic gold medal."
"I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life," he said.
Phelps has since added stress management programs to the offerings of the Michael Phelps Foundation which focuses on promoting healthy and active lives.
He said he hoped opening up about his relationship with depression could help others speak more openly about the disease.
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
Or if you need to talk to someone else:
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757