The Floridian publicly announced on social media in 2020 that he had started to take the medication, but came off them ahead of the delayed games.
Lyles, 24, spoke openly about his mental health to reporters after the race at the Olympic stadium and became the latest star, after Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, to address the issue.
“Somebody asked me why I told people on Twitter that I was on antidepressants. It was strictly for the idea that I had taken something and it made me feel better,” Lyles said.
“I knew there were a lot of people out there like me who were too scared to say something or even start that journey.”
And he added: “I wanted them to know if you guys see me in a big light, I want you to know that it’s OK not to feel good and you can go out and talk to somebody. ... This is a serious issue. You don’t want to wake up one day and think, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore.’”
Lyles also shed tears for his sprinter brother, Josephus, who failed to make it to Tokyo with him on Team USA.
“Sometimes I think to myself, ‘This should be him,’” admitted Lyles.
“I’d be okay not being here. I feel like I have a lot of talents, and I feel I can go in different directions. He’s talented in his own right. But at the same time, it wasn’t even my dream. I just tagged along because I love my brother.”
Lyles says his ability on the track has helped him deal with his own bouts of depression.
“When I was able to do track, I felt that everything had been lifted and I would actually be able to live my life,” said Lyles, who is also a talented artist, photographer and musician.
“I’m using outlets of music and track and everything else to help me get through those tough moments and saying if this doesn’t go right in track, I have a life outside of it.
“I’m not defined by being an Olympic bronze medalist or gold-medal world champion or the high schooler that went pro. That’s not who I am. I’m Noah Lyles.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies