Triumph Over a Private Pain

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Key Questions
  • Do you think celebrities face an additional burden if they choose to disclose chronic health issues?
  • Some people have very good reasons for avoiding treatment of migraine and its comorbidities.  Did you have any particular reason for avoiding treatment yourself?
  • Why was it comfortable for you to talk about your struggles with depression and anxiety, but not migraine?
  • What are some of the migraine symptoms you experienced at a young age and then later, while you were competing?
  • Did any of your trainers or doctors ever suspect migraine, or say anything to you about it?
  • Some people say they try to outwork their issues using something else as a distraction. Did you use swimming as your personal therapy?
  • Do you feel like it’s easier for athletes to bounce back from setbacks?
  • What can people with migraine learn from the process of an athlete bouncing back after a competition that can help them deal with the guilt they feel from attacks?
  • Can you tell us why you never took medications for your migraine attacks?
  • What lessons have your health challenges taught you that you’d like to pass on to the kids in your swim school, as well as your own children?
  • What kind of advice can you give to people who are juggling a professional career and a chronic illness?
Interview Notes
Amanda Beard

Amanda Beard

Olympic Gold Medalist and Author
"In The Water They Can't See You Cry"

At the age of 14, Amanda Beard made her first Olympic appearance at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, taking home one gold and two silver medals. Over the next 12 years, she continued to earn four more Olympic medals, and serve as the captain of the USA Olympic swimming team twice. Between Games, Ms. Beard began modeling in magazines and appearing on national television.

In 2012, she released her New York Times best selling autobiography, In the Water They Can’t See You Cry, which chronicled her personal struggle with bulimia, self-mutilation, anxiety, and depression. Her experience dealing with migraine with aura has never been disclosed until now. A frequent speaker, Beard shares her story of professional and personal triumph via motivational speaking engagements, and passes on her swimming expertise via Beard Swim Co.

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