A WAVE of behavioural issues involving Australia’s former superstars of the pool has led to questions over whether or not there is a link between professional swimming and depression.
A day after it was revealed that dual Olympic medallist Geoff Huegill had been charged with drug possession, a former professional swimmer has spoken out about her battle with depression, claiming she suffered copper toxicity from overexposure to chlorine in her childhood and teenage years.
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, urged her fellow swimmers to undergo testing, saying the diagnosis turned her life around.
“I don’t know if that’s what these guys have got. Obviously, that’s got to be tested,” the ex-swimmer told Triple M’s The Grill Team.
“But I started noticing problems at about 16, 17. I started getting really fatigued. Doctors didn’t know what it was, they started putting me on anti-depressants. Obviously that made it worse.
“It got to the stage where I couldn’t get out of bed.
“It wasn’t until I went to a naturopath – they did hair samples and figured out that I had really bad copper toxicity, which was from the chlorine in the water.
“Chlorine actually blocks your body’s ability to get rid of excess copper,” the woman continued.
“It really only impacts people when they’re young – so if you start swimming when you’re four or five, up until your teenage years.
“I didn’t start noticing symptoms until after puberty. I don’t know if that could be what the guys have got, but it would be worth getting (tested).
“There’s about four girls who I used to swim with who had similar symptoms.
“Some doctors know about it, but prescription medication just makes it worse.”
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