Information on Host City and Meeting Highlights
Olympic Medalist to Share Story
Psychiatric News
Volume 40 Number 4 page 2-2

Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis will be the featured guest and speaker at the fourth annual "Conversations" event hosted by the American Psychiatric Foundation on Tuesday, May 24, at APA's 2005 annual meeting in Atlanta.

Louganis, winner of four Olympic gold medals in diving, will discuss his battle with depression and substance abuse and his HIV diagnosis. As mentioned in his book, Breaking the Surface, Louganis has struggled with depression since the age of 12, when he was told that knee damage would keep him from his dream of eventually competing as a gymnast in the Olympics. He found that diving, which is easier on the knees than gymnastics, was a satisfying outlet for his physical energy. Still, he battled low self-esteem and attempted suicide several times before reaching 18.

He learned his HIV status in 1988 as he prepared for the Olympic games in Seoul. For years, he did not talk about it out of fear that it would cost him his diving career. Eventually, he went public with his HIV status and began touring the country to share his life experiences.

The foundation launched its "Conversations" event three years ago so that psychiatrists could hear from people whose daily lives have been affected by mental illness. The event is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca.

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