Phelps 'overwhelmed' while adjusting to life in pandemic

5/18/2020 2:36:26 PM EST

Decorated Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps recently admitted that the coronavirus pandemic has him struggling to stay afloat with his mental health.

The 23-time Olympic gold-medal winner, in a first-person narrative published by ESPN on Monday, said that being under lockdown during the pandemic has been a constant battle.

"The pandemic has been a challenge I never expected," said Phelps, 34. "All the uncertainty. Being cooped up in a house. And the questions. So many questions. When is it going to end? What will life look like when this is over? Am I doing everything I can to be safe? Is my family safe? It drives me insane.

"I'm used to traveling, competing, meeting people. This is just craziness. My emotions are all over the place. I'm always on edge. I'm always defensive. I'm triggered so easily."

Phelps, who has 28 total Olympic medals under his belt, admitted that he felt "absolutely worthless" and wished he was someone else.

"This is the most overwhelmed I've ever felt in my life. That's why I have times where I don't want to be me. I wish I could just be 'Johnny Johnson,' some random person," Phelps said.

Phelps previously shared his mental health struggles with ESPN prior to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

--Field Level Media

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