Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham Battled Crystal Meth Addiction in 2011

A bombshell revelation from his new autobiography Twists and Turns is that gay Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham was battling an addiction to crystal meth in the years leading up to the London Olympics, at which he failed to medal:

MitchamThe Sydney Morning Herald reports that following his Olympic win in 2008 after still failing to be ranked as World #1, he descended into depression:

Self-doubt came crashing back, fuelled by injury. Secretly smoking crystal meth to boost his moods, he was soon in the grip of addiction.

He knew the drug's dangers. But ''taking it was something I did … to take my mind off things that were upsetting me – to make me feel better about myself.''

The openly gay Mitcham has climbed back from last year's depths with the aid of Narcotics Anonymous, a drug rehabilitation clinic, hypnotherapy and the support of his inner circle. He's chased the demons away and is training for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In therapy still, he believes he is happier and healthier. As for fully understanding himself, he writes: ''The answers continue to elude me. I may work it out one day.''

Said Mitcham to Australia's Nine News program 60 Minutes: "I certainly was addicted to crystal meth…I just felt like such a massive sham."

Here's the preview to his 60 Minutes interview.

(via outsports)

Comments

  1. Rick says

    You had to figure something was up when he completely bombed in London.

    Honestly, I have hardly met any gay men who were really and truly well-adjusted individuals without some kind of psychological/emotional bugaboo. I am sure part of that is due to the effects of living in a homophobic world, but I don’t think that is the whole explanation. I suspect that struggles with masculinity issues are the main culprit and will continue to be until gay men fully embrace masculine values and reject idolization of women.

  2. BCLance says

    “masculine values?” “Reject idolization of women?” I think you might have inadvertently exemplified some of the absurd anxieties with which Mitcham probably struggled.

  3. says

    Kudos to him for sharing his truths. Can’t be easy.

    The more that we all do this the more we’ll help each. Invisibility is the enemy, and when more brave people like Mitcham come forward not only to stand up to be counted as Gay, but to specifically highlight and talk about the effects of being gay in an anti-gay world culture, we truly inspire change in others.

    Well met, brother.

  4. ratbastard says

    ALL environments where there’s tremendous pressure to perform, huge $ involved, substantial down time after intense periods, …in sports, entertainment, politics, business, and the medical field, you see a lot of substance abuse.

    I know a very well known musician [he isn’t gay] from a band that was mega big. I commented that almost every musician I’ve known, particularly those in bands, were always irritable and often aholes and difficult to deal with. We both agreed much of it has to do with working odd hours [while also often having another regular job for those who haven’t made it big], pressure to always be ‘on’ and ready to perform, lots of downtime after hectic schedules, being constantly around parties, alcohol and drugs, and of course often personality types with big egos, are the main cause.

    There’s no doubt being a gay man or even bisexual is still a nerve whacking thing in a world that still doesn’t fully respect you or your ‘lifestyle’. Also, many gay and bi males don’t fit into the gay ghetto world as well as others, and can feel lost at times, lacking a real sense of community. These things result in mental health issues, and substance abuse, for some.

  5. Rick says

    “@Rick have you ever thought that the pressure to conform “masculine values” is in and of itself a “kind of psychological/emotional bugaboo?”

    No, Charles, I haven’t because masculinity in men is entirely a consequence of nature–which is why it is universal across human cultures, whereas the lack thereof almost always indicates some kind of deep psychological mal-adjustment, as is usually the case with gay men……

  6. Rick says

    “Rick–has anyone ever told you you’re an idiot?”

    Every day. Every single day.”

    You know, when you resort to name-calling and personal attacks, you simply confirm that I have spoken a truth that makes you uncomfortable……

  7. PepeSF says

    And the fact that some men have more traditionally feminine qualities (and some women, more masculine) is entirely a consequence of nature and is universal across cultures as well, Rick. The “bugaboos” appear as a result of society not accepting those contrary traits and telling a person she/he is “less than” for those innate qualities.

  8. anon says

    I doubt his addiction was that serious, as a meth addiction will wipe out an athletic career. However, it does make for good book publicity.

    It’s the VIP status and availability of drugs that fuels their use in celebrity culture. Many enablers, few restrictions and a sense of privilege. No need for any personal demons. Feeling depressed is not a sign of an actual clinical condition. However, it is the perfect excuse.

  9. says

    a truth that i love – the haters can only spew their hate from a place of anonymity.

    a brave young man and role-model steps forward not only as a gay man, but open up about his own struggles.

    he deserves nothing less than support and thanks. after all, he’s doing what anonymous-commenters give excuses to not do.

  10. Rick says

    “And the fact that some men have more traditionally feminine qualities (and some women, more masculine) is entirely a consequence of nature and is universal across cultures as well, Rick.”

    That depends on how you define “traditionally feminine”, Pete. I don’t regard enjoying cooking or liking the arts or crying as inherently “feminine” as some in this culture do–I just regard them as human.

    On the other hand, deliberately trying to mimic the behavior of women by dressing like them, talking like them, walking like them (behaviors that naturally differ between the genders due to physiology)……or relating to women exclusively, in preference to men (the “diva” phenomenon you see among gay men)…….or preferring women socially to men and tending to side with them in conflicts against men……or hating sports (not just being apathetic about them)…….these are all artificial, learned, and unnatural behaviors that one frequently observes among gay men that would constitute mal-adjustments of the sort I am referring to.

  11. atomic says

    The sad truth is that gay or straight, elite athletes in general tend to have very warped notions of self-worth. They have trained and worked for so long and so tirelessly to be #1, and have felt the pressure of competition for such a huge part of their life, that their perception of their value as a human being is completely tied into that need to stand at the top of the podium.

    Of course, that’s not to excuse the self-destructive behaviors of those athletes who fall into depression out of a sense of failure. And Mitcham should have known better. My point is that we should not express surprise or consider his experience as a statistical outlier. His sexuality has less to do with those factors that put him at risk for such abuse than the simple fact that he is a highly-ranked athlete in his sport.

  12. Rick says

    Oh, and I should add, the most common mal-adjustment of all: physical cowardice and a tendency to run from fights, despite being perfectly capable of defending oneself, out of the internalized belief that one’s sexuality makes one less than truly masculine….

  13. Nada says

    Crystal Meth aka Tina is an epidemic in the gay community. And its slow taking over the black gay community as well. It’s so sad because I’ve seen such bright, promising people fall to its allure. I tried it for a week and quickly realized I had to stop or I was gonna be in serious trouble. Luckily something inside me made me stop. But I know so many people who are still crippled by their addiction. We’ve got to support those in the clutches of addiction. It’s very serious!

  14. Rick says

    “The sad truth is that gay or straight, elite athletes in general tend to have very warped notions of self-worth”

    “His sexuality has less to do with those factors that put him at risk for such abuse than the simple fact that he is a highly-ranked athlete in his sport.”

    Come on, Atomic. The vast majority of highly-ranked athletes are well-adjusted and do not abuse drugs, much less become addicted to them.

    I doubt that it is a coincidence that both Mitcham and Greg Louganis, perhaps the two most famous gay athletes of all time, had/have major psychological problems and that those problems have nothing to do with their sexual orientation.

    It is possible but unlikely.

  15. says

    Folks, rather than let Rick post his long-winded troll nonsense simply ask him for proof. You know. PROOF. As in a video or photo example that he is what he claims to be.

    After all, there’s no way he’s some maladjusted cowardly closeted grown adult who vents his fury anonymously online because he’s really just a terribly insecure man who’s ashamed of being gay…right?

    So, ask for proof. URL, youtube, blogspot, tumblr, instagram. anything.

    If one thinks running from fights is “unmanly”, what then is refusing to one’s self online?

    Mitcham, and many other brave LGBT people stand up to be counted.

    The miserable haters? Anonymous closet cases who treat the internet as a burqa.

    Call their bluff. See how they run 😉

  16. Paul R says

    It continues to astound me that so many people respond to certain other people in these comments. What are you hoping to achieve? Count the number of comments on this single page from the same person using various aliases. Who gives a crap what he says?

    Seriously. Do you spend a lot of time chatting with ranting homeless people who pull knives on you? Andy should have cut him off a very long time ago. There is nothing added by these “debates.”

  17. ripper says

    Comments summary for EVERY Towleroad post:

    1. Interesting discussion
    2. Interesting discussion
    3. Interesting discussion
    4. “XX is hot”
    5. Troll post by Jason, Rick, or Ratbastard
    6. Angry response to troll post
    7. Angry response to troll post
    8. Sincere attempt to reason with Jason, Rick, or Ratbastard
    9. Pleas to stop responding to Jason, Rick, or Ratbastard

  18. jason says

    I have no sympathy for Matthew Mitcham. I think he was highly unprofessional for getting involved in crystal meth. If he can’t control what he consumes, he’s a failure.

    The poor dear needs publicity just like that other dunderhead Aussie Ian Thorpe. I thought Ian Thorpe’s selling point was “I was depressed”. Matthew Mitcham’s is “I took crystal meth”. Big yawn. Go away, guys.

  19. jason says

    Paul R,

    The reason many posters comment on me and Rick and a few others is because gay men in general can’t stand diversity of opinion. In general, gay men want everybody to follow their PC line. Personal attacks define the modus operandum of the PC gays.

    My message to these PC gays who launch personal attacks me is thus: I’m not going to bow and scrape before weirdos who take drugs and party until the wee hours of the morning. Your chosen lifestyles – yes, partying and taking drugs is a lifestyle – will make you sick and suicidal. Nuff said.

  20. Francis says

    Ignoring the last post and the overall stupidity throughout this thread, Matthew has a lot of pressures on his back and he ended up slipping. It happens. He’s human. Matthew has handled himself so graciously in the public eye but sometimes putting on that pretty face for the cameras when you just want to escape is the most alone feeling.

    Now he’s recovering/recovered. That’s what’s most important. Best wishes go out to him. He’s a good person who has his demons, as we all do.

  21. snowisfuns says

    Now more proof that like METHEW Wayne Shepard, DRUGS ARE GAY. Now we have homo olympic swimmer who admits to Meth. METHEW Wayne Shepard was drug junky who mixed Meth with antidepressants & homo/lesbian sexual behavior comparable to drug junkyism.

  22. jason says

    The thing that really irks me about Matthew Mitcham is that he appears to be selling victimhood. Here I was thinking that he wanted to be a good example for gay men but what we get is yet another gay-guy-who-took-meth story for the purpose of a book.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for this misguided Aussie.

  23. snowisfuns says

    Jason, DRUGS ARE GAY such as METHEW Wayne Shepard and now we have Mitchell Mitcham. Gay/lesbian sexual conduct is comparable to drug junkyism. Many homos commit crimes while high on Meth and many gay bashings happen after man defends himself from homo high on Meth. METHEW Wayne Shepard mixed Ecstasy with antidepressants.

  24. jason says

    Snowisfuns,

    I think some of your assertions are ridiculous and homophobic. However, I do agree with you that drugs have harmed the image of the gay community.

  25. John says

    Good for him!

    In my own experience, the only way to overcome crystal meth addiction is to be open and honest about it. I was never able to overcome my own addiction until I realized that the shame I was trying to avoid by keeping my addiction and treatment a secret was the same shame I was running away from when I began using. The key to beating addiction is being unafraid to say “This is who I am, warts and all.”

    Mr. Mitchum should be praised for his honesty.

  26. snowisfuns says

    Jason, it’s good to be homophobic because gay/lesbian sexual behaviors are comparable to drug junkyism & transexuals are worse-they should abolish sex changes. With ‘gay bashings’ let me say Jason that if a homosexual is going to be antisocial such as if a homo is going to ask other men for sex in bathrooms, if a gay is going to repeatedly propose after a man said no or if a gay is going to pinch a man’s butt or groin against will, then there’s no need for a man to tolerate this because the gay in these 3 cases is committing crimes and if a man in these 3 cases bashes or even kills gay, then he did so reacting to crime the gay did-whether the man’s reaction with ‘gay panic defense’ is justified or excess is a jury topic. Being homophobic is a good thing but again with ‘gay bashings’ each case is different and must be judged individually.

  27. snowisfuns says

    Francis, I’m against gay/lesbian sexual behaviors and I’m against sex change mutilations. I tell truth about METHEW Wayne Shepard which homos such as Elton Portatoilet John. Tiffany Edwards Hunt of Big Island Chronicle is a Squaw and Tiffany Edwards Hunt smoked drugs in past and Big Island Chronicle Tiffany Edwards Hunt farts & shits in front of her 2 kids who have smelled Tiffany Edwards Hunt’s farts.

  28. Chris says

    Seriously Towleroad, websites like this are supposed to be places where we can get LGBT news AND not have to put up with the regular morons who comment on these stories. Can you start blocking these morons? Hell, even Queerty finally blocked Jason.

  29. anonny6 says

    @ RICK

    Matthew could be in DRAG with a tampon up his ass, and he would STILL be more masculine than you. He is a member of the most exclusive class of athletes, an Olympic gold medalist. Matthews accomplishments are the dreams of every masculine, strong, naturally gifted athlete who ever pursued sport as a career.

    Your obsession with masculine men screams desperate fanboy. And nothing could be more masculine than a groveling fanboy on his knees begging for acceptance through conformation. If you would grow some balls yourself, you wouldn’t be so dependent on their expression from outside sources. By all means though, keep starving.

  30. anonny6 says

    @ RIPPER

    Don’t forget to include your post as #10

    ……………………………….

    1. Interesting discussion
    2. Interesting discussion
    3. Interesting discussion
    4. “XX is hot”
    5. Troll post by Jason, Rick, or Ratbastard
    6. Angry response to troll post
    7. Angry response to troll post
    8. Sincere attempt to reason with Jason, Rick, or Ratbastard
    9. Pleas to stop responding to Jason, Rick, or Ratbastard

    *10.* Criticism over the comments in the comment section.

  31. jason says

    Just because we’re gay, why should we automatically have sympathy for a meth-addicted goose? Being gay does NOT give you a pass on your personality. I’ve personally known gay men with atrocious personalities – absolutey awful ones.

    Am I supposed to suddenly feel sympathy for a misguided personality simply because he’s gay????

  32. Diogenes Arktos says

    – Robin Williams once said that cocaine was God’s way of telling you you have too much money.
    – Ian Thorpe has long fought depression. It’s possible his is due to genetics, rather than the issue of his sexuality.

    @Derek in Madison: ROFLMAO

  33. jason says

    I really couldn’t care less about Matthew’s crystal meth addiction. He put it in his mouth. Nobody forced him to do it. It’s a self-inflicted injury.

    I’m not heartless, though. Therefore, I wish him the best in his recovery. Don’t expect me to have any sympathy if he relapses, though. Maybe he should spend less time in those horrible bars of Oxford Street or wherever it is he hangs out.

  34. Gigi says

    I commend Matthew for his bravery and honesty and I hope that this revelation will in turn help others in need of a lifeline.

    In reference to the Troll Triumvirate that live under the Towleroad bridge, are we certain their ridiculous, baiting posts aren’t all from a single source? Surely there can’t be three people in this world with such a shocking lack of self-awareness. Could all be from Chris Barron.

  35. ratbastard says

    Ratbastard is ONLY ratbastard, me. My style of writing is nothing like the others mentioned as ‘trolls’.

    I’m convinced Lil’ Canadian does 99% of the troll posts under various personas. His M.O. is all over them.

  36. nico says

    i’ll jump in here to second the conviction that the comments section of this blog is ‘littlekiwi’ ‘s play area, and i think most of the troll posts are by him.

  37. says

    And I’ll jump in to say that you closet-case adults live in a delusional world, and everyone with a functioning brain knows that coming online to anonymously vent fury about the lives of openly-gay people is the only distraction you have from the worthlessness of your own lives.

    so thanks

    we get it. you type angrily with one hand, and masturbate furiously with two fingers on the other.

    anonymous comments online are your only “gay outlet”

    and that’s sad. but not my problem, nor anyone else’s. just yours.

  38. nico says

    ‘littlekiwi’, you’ve been *caught* posting as ‘rick’ before. to paraphrase, you said you ‘like messing with that plebe’. I suspect you *are* that plebe.

  39. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Gigi: “Surely there can’t be three people in this world with such a shocking lack of self-awareness.”

    LOL I ran out of fingers and toes counting the people I’ve known who qualify. Welcome to the real world.

  40. andrew says

    The story is about a young man’s addiction and his overcoming it. Yet the sick b*stards who post on this site just see it as another opportunity to spew their venom and argue with each other. Congratulations Matthew and good luck in all you do!

  41. mark says

    LIfe is hard enough without being gay or an athlete. I think any of us who are lucky enough to have avoided drugs should still be able to have empathy for another human being. It takes guts to admit a problem like Matthew’s, it takes a lot more for a public figure to admit it publicly. While he doesn’t need to be put on a pedestal, condemnation is dumb. His admission just makes the case that even superstar athletes are subject to the same problems as average people who aren’t famous. Isn’t that enough?

  42. Jason 2 says

    It’s disappointing that he got involved with drugs, but the gay male psychology often involves a heavy dose of woundedness, so it’s not all that surprising. He’s still freakin’ cute as can be.

  43. Dylancat says

    Oh Rick, really? All straight men are born to love sports and disliking them is just a ‘learned behaviour’ – are you for real? As for preferring the social company of women, surely there are just some women’s traits which are more appealing than those of some meat-head men. Not ALL women, not ALL men. Just those we do and do not get on with. As for walking like women – I’ve never seen a day-to-day woman walk like RuPaul on the way to work. And drag doesn’t equal gay. Oh there just too much ridiculousness in your post to even cover it all…

  44. FunMe says

    For several years, I’ve been ignoring the trolls very easily with the PAGE DOWN key, never reading the trash they write. Unfortunately, I get to see their names when someone discusses them.

    Yes, it would be great to ban those trolls.

    Or at least making sure their names are out for the newbies to ignore.

  45. millerbeach says

    @Rick/Jason/Whomever…how is it you always manage to post either the second or third comment on each and every story? You must sit like a keyboard jockey at your computer all day long, waiting for another story to pop up. I do not believe that is how the internet was intended to be used, but to each their own. Good luck with all that self-loathing. Don’t let it eat you up! :)

  46. millerbeach says

    Oh yes, the original reason I came on here…congrats, Matthew. You did something most addicts are dying to do…quit while still alive. No matter how you got there, the real story is how you made it out. Stay strong, bro…you’re winning! :)

  47. snowisfuns says

    Again, DRUGS ARE GAY like METHEW Wayne Shepard and now Mitchell Mitcham. Homosexual and lesbian sexual behaviors are comparable to drug junkyism and trasexuals are worse than the homos. Abolish sex change mutilations. It’s good to be narrow minded against homosexual/lesbian sexual behaviors just as it’s good to be narrow minded against drug junkyism. Sometimes the narrow minded view is the right 1.

  48. snowfun says

    Regan DuCasse is a black crack lesbian who does smelly farts and shits on others during her lesbian scat. Regan DuCasse smokes crack also because she is Black. DRUGS ARE GAY like METHEW Wayne Shepard, Mitchell Mitcham and BLACK CRACK LESBIANS Regan DuCasse and Pam Spaulding. Pam Spaulding farts and shits on little girls.

  49. snowfun says

    METHEW Mitcham and METHEW Wayne Shepard are who these 2 drug junkies are as both METHEW Mitcham and METHEW Wayne Shepard are drug junkies which proves drugs are gay like Regan DuCasse the Black crack lesbian junky who farts and shits on others during scat sex and while Regan DuCasse who is gassy is high on crack.

  50. snowfun says

    METHEW Mitcham and METHEW Wayne Shepard are who these 2 drug junkies are as both METHEW Mitcham and METHEW Wayne Shepard are drug junkies which proves drugs are gay like Regan DuCasse the Black crack lesbian junky who farts and shits on others during scat sex and while Regan DuCasse who is gassy is high on crack.

  51. ophu says

    Just a suggestion: If you’re going to take anyone seriously here, listen to the ones who aren’t spouting negativity in every other post. Without mentioning anyone by name (but you know who they are), those here who have an ax to grind with certain segments of our community are just toxic.

  52. snowfun says

    OPHU you’re not rebutting the ugly truths I tell about METHEW Wayne Shepard. METHEW Wayne Shepard had rude habit of cutting in line in front of others including retirees. Let’s have a movie title METHEW Wayne Shepard, the true story. OPHU what I write is true just as it’s true Regan DuCasse farts and shits like every1 else and Regan DuCuasse (who is gassy) is a Black crack lesbian junky like Pam Spaulding the Black crack lesbian who does smelly shits and farts.

  53. snowfun says

    OPHU you’re not rebutting the ugly truths I tell about METHEW Wayne Shepard. METHEW Wayne Shepard had rude habit of cutting in line in front of others including retirees. Let’s have a movie title METHEW Wayne Shepard, the true story. OPHU what I write is true just as it’s true Regan DuCasse farts and shits like every1 else and Regan DuCuasse (who is gassy) is a Black crack lesbian junky like Pam Spaulding the Black crack lesbian who does smelly shits and farts.

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