{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Genuinely interested in educating myself. Some people are applauding Simone Biles for withdrawing from Olympics. I am trying to understand how mental health suddenly becomes an issue in a few days? It isn’t like a bone fracture that happens suddenly. Wouldn’t Simone (who has gone through hundreds of competitions) have known the scrutiny an olympic demands to have not participated in the first place? A genuine request - please refrain from attacking or posting non-constructive comments.", "post_id": "6101eb04107124002ffd3404", "reply_count": 103, "vote_count": 23, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Genuinely interested in educating myself. Some people are applauding Simone Biles for withdrawing from Olympics. I am trying to understand how mental health suddenly becomes an issue in a few days? It isn’t like a bone fracture that happens suddenly. Wouldn’t Simone (who has gone through hundreds of competitions) have known the scrutiny an olympic demands to have not participated in the first place? A genuine request - please refrain from attacking or posting non-constructive comments.

likesmart
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“Suddenly becomes an issue in a few days”… reread that to yourself and tell me what’s wrong with that statement. LIFE is sudden and things change, maybe she lost a good friend or got into a huge fight with her bf or she just got nervous. Regardless you are not her and don’t know what she’s going through. For you to assume that is just… sad for you. I don’t mean to attack you but it’s just common sense to realize shit happens and it sucks especially when the whole world is watching you. It IS like a bone fracture. Many times a bone breaks bc of pressure put on it consistently. Sometimes it just randomly breaks but a huge chunk is from pushing it too hard without realizing and then one day you just break down. “Wouldn’t Simone have known the scrutiny an Olympic demands”…this is also just super sad for you to say. Tell me, you’ve NEVER been unprepared at work? You NEVER knew the scrutiny your clients demand and don’t EVER feel brunt out? You must be a god then if true. I don’t mean to be mean but this is honestly crazy to hear from someone especially from a consultant who clients are always pressuring to be their best and burn out their star consultants for. It’s just some common sense and basic human decency.

likesmart

A2, I agree with you, of course she doesn’t owe anyone anything. But I also think you’re being a bit harsh on OP. I’ve read through OPs comments and they are obviously trying to just understand something they do not understand. We have to have some grace when people don’t always use the right words. As a mental health clinician and also someone who suffers from depression, I won’t pretend OPs post didn’t sting a little but I do truly believe OP is trying to understand and just doesn’t get it. Mental health challenges are hard to understand for people who don’t have experience of them … and I, for one, am happy that someone like OP asks and tries to learn from others who can help explain instead of just silently judging and not trying to learn. I am not disagreeing with your sentiments, but I also think… let’s just try to have some grace for others. This is how we all learn.

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Here’s my problem with the criticism she’s facing (just as Naomi Osaka), especially from ‘modern’ women…She literally listened to her own body and exercised her GOD given right to decide what step to take next. I personally, don’t understand why it’s any of our business why. As a black woman, I’m especially triggered, yes triggered, by the amount disrespect she’s receiving for making her OWN personal and professional choices. Hell, both she and Naomi are self-made and self-employed millionaires. They’ve put in an unbelievable amount of hard work and are the top in their crafts. They honor their endorsement contracts and perform in the competitions of their choice. So this idea that they’ve acted in irresponsible ways is just laughable. You don’t get to where they are, being ‘irresponsible’. I strongly feel that Biles doesn’t owe anyone an explanation, except her team. And frankly, they’re the only ones (along with fellow gymnasts, black women and sufferers of mental illness) who know what it kind feels like, at best. It’s sickening that women, a lot of them white, across social media continue to say awful things to suggest she’s lazy or entitled or somehow ‘took a spot’ that could’ve been occupied by someone else. Sunni Lee is the only one that could’ve replaced her; and did. It makes me want vomit, that there are still so many people who peddle these thinly veiled racist tropes and then claim to want to understand. Black women do not owe the world anymore than they’ve already given. And they d*mn sure, don’t need permission to take PTO they’ve earned. I hate the intrusion that Western society thinks is appropriate when it comes to black women. It’s racist and it’s antiquated.

likesmartuplifting

What K1 said.

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Having the twisties is not the same as being anxious or nervous. It’s a condition that is dangerous to gymnasts and you don’t snap out of. No gold medal, no competition is worth the potential of injury. I was a gymnast for 12 years. I got the twisties, I balked on a tumbling pass, I dislocated my elbow, and ended my career.

likehelpfulsmart

Yeah I love this thread, thanks all! 🧠

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People with mental health issues have bad days and good days. On bad days,life is a struggle for them.

likesmarthelpful

I’m truly struggling with why OP needs help understanding this.

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Most people don’t react to mental health issues until it’s dire. Often people suppress the bad feelings and it slowly gets worse over time until one day they just can’t handle it anymore

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Yes! I am constantly in denial. I always ask myself “can I push through this work day? Is it really that bad? Is it worth inconveniencing everyone on my team? Will anyone be disappointed that I couldn’t show up and take care of xyz meeting?” Usually I can convince myself to show up. Then one day I can barely get out of bed. I’ll open my laptop but spend way too much time zoning out on my phone or staring out a window.

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If you’re truly trying to understand the psychology of a person that is experiencing negative mental health symptoms (which can be very broad), then you wouldn’t have made the statement that “it isn’t a bone fracture that happens suddenly”. Without even trying to understand psychology, going back to the basics -a person has the right to remove themselves from any situation that causes them discomfort at any point, their feeling is sufficient validation.

likesmart

Again - saying things like “if you are truly trying to understand…the you wouldn’t have…” is not helpful. I admitted I don’t understand the situation well and I would appreciate it if you can coach me on this subject. You can be rude and then I can be rude as a response, but it’s not going to help either of us. I do have my opinions on “feeling is sufficient validation” that it cannot be applied as a blanket statement but honestly I’d rather focus my attention learning from people who are interested in coaching me.

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Ok here’s an unpopular opinion. I won’t comment on Simone’s situation specifically since I don’t know enough, but the Naomi Osaka situation made my eyes roll a little. I have followed tennis for years and once upon a time attempted to play. Tennis is partially a mental game. Saying I can’t do XYZ “because of mental health” is like saying I can’t do my job well as a consultant because I don’t like Excel. No, it’s part of the job. You should know that going in. Sucking at controlling your emotions means you don’t have it in you to be a good player, period. No exception or accommodation should be made. I have little empathy, especially not after she’s made made $100M from the sport

likefunny

I would like to go ahead and point out I also think mck1 sucks lol

likesmart

She also mentioned she was feeling the pressure before the olympics so it wasn’t just a few days. For me personally, I thought I was fine and suddenly one day I had a massive panic attack that started a journey over the next few years to get back to a comfortable place. To others, it may have seemed sudden, but it was a long time coming

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Manager 3 - Thank you for sharing this and I think it’s very brave of you to take steps to overcome your childhood trauma. I wasn’t aware of the abuse she had to face, which would have been a whole new level of challenge. And I understand this better now - regardless of the abuse, the scrutiny and pressure could have been enough. Who knows what other things she may be going through that have not been disclosed

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I’m having a hard time understanding why any single person would judge another person on a decision they made for their own life. Why is her decision a topic for any of us to opine on?

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Being a public figure still doesn’t entitle people to your health records or decisions. And weird that women, who’ve shown the most hate and outrage, cannot respect another woman’s choices.

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so many toxic replies. Simone had the Twisties, an actual condition specific to the field that can get you killed. like telling a fighter jet mechanic who gets vertigo from a busted eardrum he's weak for not wanting to flag a jet off the navy ship. and for the Naomi add ons...Naomi wasn't stressed from Tennis, she was stressed from being bombarded with vulagr, sexist, nasty hate every fkg day via every possible medium in existence and in person at every turn. McKinsey dude ...lmk when your excel sheets started calling you a fkg ____ every 5 minutes. These discussions expose so much about the ugly underbelly so many toxic people in these firms. these are supposed to be the people "solving big problems"? tunnel vision, incapable of understanding all sides of an issue, close minded and a lot of sexism and bigotry. that's not leadership nor how you move a big challenging company outside forward the right way. this is why people say consultants break everything - any solution designed by people with these attitudes is destined to be a mediocre at best one. toxic people are so weak and cowardly. they dress this pathetic lack of empathy up as courage and strength but in truth they are just insecure bullies with shallow values.

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Exactly!

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First off - this is an awesome post. It is really heartwarming that you’re seeking out different perspectives on this situation. So kudos, seriously! It’s tough to put ourselves into that mindset but gymnastic is extremelyyyy dangerous. And the tricks she is pulling have even been discussed as being too dangerous to allow. If you don’t trust yourself 100% and go full out, you will (not might) get hurt. I’m really proud that she is listening to her mind and body. I hope other athletes feel empowered to do the same. Also as gymnasts, they are constantly hurt. I stopped gymnastics at level 10 and I still have problems from gymnastic injuries.

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Hi OP! Thanks for being genuine in your desire to learn. In your journey to knowledge, I would recommend watching Athlete A on Netflix - documentary about the decades of sexual abuse USA Gymnastics hid under the rug. Simone (along with most of her teammates) were sexually abused at national team training camps. Thus, competitions can be incredibly triggering and PTSD manifests itself in different ways - maybe in twisties even. We applaud Simone for putting her mental health first and being a strong role model, despite the years of abuse she’s had to go though.

likehelpful

😲 yikes. Poor Simone

You already have 67 comments. Simone said she lost focus upside down and spinning in the air which made her back out knowing that could lead to paralyzation on death, what’s your problem?

likesmart

Speaking as someone with mental health issues myself, it’s one thing to read about mental health issues online and another to ask for various accounts/perspectives on how it affects our day to day. I’m with A1 on this.

helpful

Mental health struggles don’t just accumulate over the course of a few days. It’s typically brewing overtime but all it takes is one day for things to be too much for someone to bear. That’s my rationale on her situation.

likehelpful

These people really need to have some type of evaluation during this process. I have a sibling with serious mental health issues and things don’t just happen to a serious extent right away usually there is a build up. It’s clear that she’s been struggling for a while maybe due to the pressure idk. But I hope something can be done in the future for athletes. For her to withdraw she really must be going through it. My thoughts and prayers are with her and any other athletes during this intense time.

likehelpful

I understand what you’re saying pwc, but I certainly wouldn’t trust USA gymnastics to take on the responsibility of making that call for its gymnasts. They failed so many athletes.

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I was a competitive gymnast growing up, and didn't know of the term twisties until now, but it so makes sense! There were a few times where I just could not get balanced or land anything, and I didn't know why. Instead of me or my coaches recognizing it, I just kept competing. One time I had the worst competition of my life, including Landing a vault straight on my face and falling off the beam like 5 times. I was lucky I didn't get seriously injured. I definitely could not have pointed to a specific cause, but I am sure stress and anxiety doesn't help it.

helpfullike

Manager 2 - thank you for sharing this and I am sorry that you had such an experience. Hopefully with the society having a constructive conversation and helping those (such as me) overcome our biases / blindspots, we can collectively as a society help athletes in future

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She backed out from group events because she determined she was not sure whether she’d perform well enough or bring the team down. She knows herself and her body very well, so in that moment she made the call she saw fit. Gymnastics is also way more mental (vs. physical) than we realize as non-gymnasts. She also does not owe a single person an explanation.

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