Garreth

Garreth MacNamee (above) writes

In June 2011, I walked out of hospital after a suicide attempt and I haven’t looked back. I still remember how that day looked. It was a beautiful June afternoon, the sun belted down on my mam’s car and I took one final look at St John of God’s in Stillorgan, Co Dublin – a place which had become my home for over a month. That was a week before my 22nd birthday.

I walked back into college with my head held high, spent two more years working on my journalism degree and strutted out with one of the highest marks handed out that year. Less than a week after finishing my studies and I was working for a national newspaper. For the first time in my life I felt proud of myself, I was successful.

Fast forward nearly 19 months and here I am contemplating taking my own life again. I don’t know how I got here but here I am. I have everything anyone could ask for – great friends, a wonderfully supportive family, the respect of this industry I’m in, a penthouse apartment in Dun Laoghaire [Co Dublin], iPad, iPhone, new car and and what should look like a bright future.

But I can’t see that – all I can feel is how sweet and peaceful death would be right now. The balcony 10 feet behind me seems more tempting than taking a shower in the morning, than walking into work with an exclusive under my arm or texting the girl I’m currently seeing. My role in life has always been to make others feel happy. I’m the joker, the friend, the pal who’d never see you stuck. I’m that sad clown, a cliche wrapped in another fucking cliche, sitting in a living room typing in the dark.

 

 

I never thought my mental health was that bad – even when I was placed in a locked ward as psych staff took my belt, shoe strings and lighter.

Even the cold thud of a dead lock clicking into place as I watched my family tearfully walking out of my hospital room couldn’t open my eyes to the reality.
But there it was in all its painful glory.

When friends came to visit me I would smile and crack a joke pretending to be oblivious to the fact I was surrounded by some of the sickest people I had ever met – and I was one of them.
It would be months later that my friends told me I was speaking complete gibberish to them.
It was only then that I copped something wasn’t really right.
In a strange way, it validated me. I was confused as to why I was put in that hospital. I knew deep down there was something seriously wrong with me but I couldn’t accept it.

But back to the now. I’m writing this as someone who is ill. I’m not looking for sympathy, it’s just something which needs to be out there, that it’s ok to tell the world you’re not ok.
I’m not going to work tomorrow, I’m going to see a counsellor. I’m going to beat this little prick in my head who’s trying to tell me I’m not good enough.

There will be many of you out there who don’t understand how it feels to go through something like this. That’s not to sound high and mighty or what not, it is what it is.
But then again there are those who will know exactly the excruciating pain I’m feeling right now.

There’s one way I can think of explaining it.

Imagine having a negative thought about yourself, be it your appearance, intelligence, whatever.
Now imagine it sticking with you all through the day pounding you every chance it gets. It’s relentless in its ferocity, its cruelty. You can’t think of anything else.

It tells you you’re worthless, it mocks every positive thought you try and retaliate with, it shoots down any thought of getting better. And you can’t get rid of it.

So, in my case, I drank. I drank to try and rid myself of the constant waves of negativity crashing over me, washing out the good of the day.
But then that will stop working and you’ll be left drunk and alone, hating yourself even more.
The day I tried to kill myself in April 2011, I found myself in the corner of my room with a bottle of whiskey balling my eyes out.
I began drinking socially again after six months off it. I drank not because I wanted to forget but because I enjoyed it.

But now I’m doing it for the same old reasons. The most important thing is that I’ve caught it in time.

The recent Donal Walsh documentary on RTE opened people up to talking about mental health.
Here was a terminally ill young man telling people to cop on and not take your own life.
To be honest, it infuriated me.

Suicidal ideation, to many, is a terminal illness and something which can’t be fought with medication.
If you’re set on taking your life, then you’re going to do it. But there are support structures out there designed to pull you from the brink It’s in no way black and white.

You don’t see how much you’re loved, you don’t see the pain and hardship it would cause your family.
Even now I’m racked with guilt over my own attempt. My mum is a shell of the woman she was, constantly worrying about me.

My sister thinks I’m too ill to live a regular life and my friends are now texting me after a night out telling me ‘to ring when I get in’.
Everybody’s worried about me – and I guess they’re right to.
The stigma of mental health in Irish society may be loosening its grip, but the guilt of having tried it will always remain.
I don’t want to be known as ‘that guy who tried to kill himself’.

In fact I’m that funny, intelligent and caring guy who actually wants to know how you’re doing.
There’s a part me that wants to just delete this entire message and go to work tomorrow and pretend everything is ok.

But I’m sick of living a half life, one that’s just going to knock me on my arse as I try and plough ahead.
So this is a moment for me to take stock, lay a solid foundation, take a breather and then move forward once again.
This is not a cry for help, it’s more of a success story. I’ve spotted the danger signs and I’m fighting back.
I’m not going to let this darkness define me and let it win. I’m stronger than that.
So for anyone out there who’s thinking similar things, I’m pleading with you to tell someone; family, friends, the Samaritans.
This is because I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve survived suicide. You only get one go around.

To be honest, I’m feeling a hell of a lot better after writing this.

Take her handy,

Garreth MacNamee

It’s okay not to be okay (Gareth McNamee, ThereIsPowerInSpeakingOut)

384 thoughts on “Staying Alive

    1. Lorraine murphy

      Garrett i hear u and wen i heard that young guy donal who died saying don’t contemplate suicide to anyone contemplating it i was furious as nobody plans to feels that low that they want to die.. Another point i want to make is people try slowly kill themselves everyday and nobody bats on eyelid. Smokers drinkers diabetes boy and girl racer’s. Iive suffered bad bouts of depression and always come back to life. Its like my soul dies for six months and then in reborn again. Fupp me its tough but in bigger then the blues. X x x let people look after u until ur able and ready to do it alone good man x

      1. Andrew Wright

        Hello Everyone
        I know how it feels to be in this position and attempted the same fate last year after a breakup with a partner. I have recovered well after realizing what needs to be done to get better.
        I realized who my true friends were and started hanging around with good influences. These people knew me and knew i enjoyed sport.
        After a few months of not wanting to even leave the house my friend brought me along to a boxing club, from this i got back into rugby and developed from teamwork.

        From this I got myself back into work and I am back on my feet, this isn’t me saying it is the way to do it. However, it is what helped me!

        And I haven’t looked back since

    2. Worried mum

      Hello Garreth.
      Your story is heart wrenching.
      I am a mum of a 20 year old man.
      He is seen as the joker of the pack and has many friends, a job, money etc (everything that we are told should make us happy)
      He is deeply unhappy and I am very concerned.
      He has extreme negativethoughts about himself, feels ugly, worthless ( I in turn feel powerless to help) He refuses to get help and I constantly worry about his well being.

      1. janet wallace

        My heart goes out to all who are low depreesed suicidal and whom are in despair of any kind…I have read a book which may be of help to some of you…although it is really not about depression or suiside it may help some of you or those close to you…it is titled…The Mindfull Path To Self Compassion..( freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions ) By Christopher k Germer, PhD
        Publishers. The Guilford Press.72 Spring Street.
        New York.NY 10012.www.guilford.com…ISBN 978-1-59385-975-6 …From this day May you be HAPPY AND HEALTHY IN MIND AND BODY…MAY YOU AND THOSE CLOSE TO YOU BE BLESSED…Love from Jan & Ian

        1. Steiner62

          That Germer book is very good but too much for an actual severely depressed person to absorb from my own experience, ( I tried to read it while in The God’s & found the effort far too much at the time). Well worth reading when the crisis has passed & concentration is improving though, highly recommended! One to help keep you well…

      2. Michael O' Riordan

        Hi Garreth,
        I have just finished reading your post, it’s well written and fair play to you man for getting it out there. I’ve been where you are and understand totally every word that you have written. I’m here after surviving 3 suicide attempts, the last of which was back in 2010 or for me way back in 2010,it seems like such a long time ago. I survived and continue to survive every day as I still consider myself a work in progress. But BOY GOD it does get easier with each day that passes. There’s is a saying that always comes to my mind which is ” Talk is cheap “. That’s bullshit, talk is what has got me here today and writing this piece to you. I also ended up in hospital ( St. Pat’s ) and on meds. For me the meds were not the answer, but the people in St. Pat’s gave me the tools and put me on the right path to recovery.
        They pointed me in the direction of my counselor and that is where the ‘ talk’ came in. I never thought that you could go lower than suicide but she took me there and helped me to get out the other side stronger and intact. Those were places that I needed to go in order for me to overcome my suicidal feelings. With her help I got through them and I’ve got through even bigger battles since then knowing that I have the mental strength and awareness to make it out the other side. I credit my counselor enormously for this but also myself, because that is who it comes down to.
        If I could give you 1 piece of advise it is this – keep seeking out that right person, I went through loads counselor before I found the right 1 and BOY GOD when you do it makes all the difference.
        KEEP TALKING AND I WISH YOU THE VERY BEST BECAUSE IT IS OUT THERE FOR ALL OF US.
        Michael.

      3. michelle Courtney

        What an inspirational young man. Two young men I knew committed. Suicide over. The. Last few. Years and I wish. They. Had. Spoken. Out and talked. To someone it could. Have. Saved. Their. Lives. Look. After yourself garreth xx

    3. Marie

      Just want to say as a person that has been in a similar sitution, that you could not have explained this soul destroying disease any better. It brought me to tears reading it as it brought me back to a time when I was living a nightmare myself. I hope you will find peace and overcome it. I was lucky enough not to have had to go through it a second time, so far. Try find that light at the end of the tunnel. Have hope that there will be better days. Because there will be xx

    4. Lynn Mc Nally

      I think you’re incredible and beautifully honest. Thanks for sharing and Good luck with the rest of your life :)

    5. Julie

      Hi Big Lad,
      This won’t make a shit load of difference to u babes but I totally understand where u are and the dark, desperate place it is. A good councillor really helped me -I was apparently one of the most distressed people she had ever met which was actually good to know (it was in my head but I was justified being fucked up if u know what I mean?) find a councellor u have a good repor with and who doesn’t tell u anything about themselves lol my first dr of physchology used to send me away with some of his baggage as well as my own! Not good. Try not to give up, fight as hard as u can because there will be light, it may be hiding at the minute but it is there coming ur way.

      I hope u get the chance to find happy again I still have to work at it and probably will have to for the rest of my life but those moments of pue joy and love and peace are worth struggling through the dark. And just think how many people will want to bitch slap u now if u give up.

      Big hugs namaste xox

    6. Anonymous

      Garreth, my story is almost identical to yours and I have traveled along a similar road since hospitalization at the age of 22. Fair play to you for speaking out. I have only told a few of my closest friends of my experience and I know how difficult this must have been.

      Since my two months in hospital in 2010 I have been on a mission to find happiness. When I got out I spent the guts of the year with my head in the bottle sedating myself from the memories of my experience in hospital and around my deterioration. I have since had to rebuild my life from the ground up and I am never going to stop pursuing happiness. I am now in a long term relationship, have a permanent job in financial services, can hold down friendships and play and enjoy football: things I couldn’t fathom 4 years ago.

      It sounds like you are attempting to do the same. I have found that mindfulness meditation is hugely beneficial. Perhaps not yet, but when you improve and feel a bit better you should look into it. I have found that many of my negative thoughts and feelings are not part of reality and by focusing on the moment we can start enjoying life.

      Best of luck with your recovery and thank you for speaking out.

    7. Mad cow

      I feel your pain Gareth. I’ve suffered ( and I mean really suffered) from bouts of clinical depression for almost 10 years now. I work full time and most of the time I have a great time & really enjoy life. However, when I make big changes e.g. new job, house move etc., I spiral into the darkness and get too stressed to function. For me, medication is key and I have been on the same meds for the last 5 years without any major problem. That guy Donal’s message really upset me aswell. I know he got a raw deal but there was no need to lash out at very vulnerable people. You can’t comment on depression properly unless you have actually been through it. If you are not the type of person to suffer from depression, you will never truly understand. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It has made me a better person in that I appreciate when I am healthy and I really notice the little things i.e. sights, sounds, smells. I understand what is to feel great joy and also intense sorrow. I feel so guilty for hurting my family and friends but I had no choice when I lost all control. However, I would do the same for them without thinking. I am now very careful and almost boring:) You take care of yourself, this too will pass.

      1. Mr been there,

        Here Mad Cow, don’t know you but after the beautifully worded reply that you gave, feel as if i do, if only a wee a bit.! Have been touched on occassions with the ‘Black Dog thing’ too.. When it appears i fight it with all guns blazing,! I wamt to keep enjoying the happy times/moments when they turn up which is quiet often, the pain of depression is real but by it’s very nature makes me stronger, stronger that iis because it makes me reflect and realise whats important in life which is all the simple wee things, family, friends, good people, basic health, a nice walk, all the elemts, rainy, sunny, foggy snowy, cold, hot etc day, not going any furthur with this list because it would’nt end, , you get the jest… Love to you, friend, x.

      2. Thomas Roddy

        Hi Mad Cow,
        I think it’s a little unfair to say that Donal Walsh lashed out at very vulnerable people. He simply expressed his emotion of anger at the fact that people do commit suicide. I myself sometimes feel anger when I hear of people taking their lives eventhough I have been on the edge myself.
        However I do agree with you that you can’t really comment on depression unless you have experienced it yourself.

      3. Steiner62

        I echo your sentiments entirely Ms. Cow!

        The deeper that sorrow carves itself into your being the more joy you can retain.
        – Kahlil Gibran

    8. Jacqueline

      Fair play to you, for writing such a courageous article based on truth,….for the many people out there who are battling with depression.
      It is brave people like you who spark some hope for others who are in the darkest of places.
      You will win the fight on depression and you will learn to love life once again.

      Thank you so much for writing this article.
      God bless you.

      Jacqueline

    9. Laurence

      Garreth,
      I don’t know what to write and and am scared witless to say the wrong thing–in 1977 I tried suicide in a very serious attempt–depressed and drinking bottles of vodka and then was prescribed valium for “my nerves”! I was 21 years old. A short time later (aged 22) I was admitted to John of God’s Hospital in Stillorgan–this was 1978. I was detoxed–got my liver sorted–got counselling and joined AA when I left John of Gods–did my aftercare for two years as well. Was plagued with thoughts of suicide and depression for many of my early years after but thankfully stuck with recovery. I met a gorgeous girl, got married, rebuilt my career and have three sons with that gorgeous girl and now have two grandchildren and thirty five years sobriety. I heard my son telling a friend that he thanked God for my recovery because if I had committed suicide he would not be alive today–nor would his beautiful three month old son. So don’t give up–take help from wherever you can–join a recovery programme- for the booze and depression–and you just never know what life you can give!
      Your experience and mine including sharing the same Alma Mater, at the same age with the same illness is more than a coincidence. I hope it does not sound preachy but like you this is my story.
      LB

    10. Ger Keogh

      Well done you . You are so brave to speak about your illness . Helping both you and others . You are a true inspiration.

    11. Maria

      I understand 100% what your saying and what you have said is a very hard thing to describe. Well done you should be extremely extremely proud of yourself your amazing. Keep it up x

    12. Bernadette Gildernew

      I have never saw such bravery in my life. To put ur story up is amazing. Yes ur mum WILL worry about u. Its what we do. As a mum off 4 kids i applaud you. This give me a better understanding off suicide. I always thought “its so selfish” Now i will alwys remember ur story and think they wer in pain. Thank u for sharing it for the world to see. I hope u get to the stage that u will never again think off actually doing it. I hope 2014 is a better year for you an u get all u wish for. Now im bawling lol. THANK U pet.

    13. Mad cow

      Hey Gareth,
      When you are better, you should write a book with your article and these comments. Its so real and truthful. I couldn’t find a decent book when I needed one (and also didn’t have any concentration to read it :)
      This is AMAZING ! Someone mentioned below that they were told by a counsellor that they had never seen someone so distressed. They must say that to everyone as I was told that too. It only made me feel even worse. I think if you have one person in the world that you can really talk to, be it a friend, family or a counsellor that is half the battle. Strangers tell me I’m the calmest person they’ve ever met, must be the drugs! Also Mr Been There, keep on keeping on. Thanks for the mention:)
      Depressives Anonymous

    14. Passerby

      Great story and I wish all the best to you in getting better. I can relate unfortunately. Rather than say how hard things have been for me in a comparative way, I think it’s safe to say we’ve both hit our rock bottom. And by rock bottom I mean the lowest possible point imaginable (or that’s how depression makes things seem anyway). I’m personally not getting any better, which sucks because I’m not a good resource to myself, and can’t achieve the potential I know I can achieve. However, I want to say if you read this comment, and if you do get better, that you speak up more. You mentioned going to a counsellor, and I’ve done this myself in the past. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was getting to grips with the fact that getting better is just the realisation that I’m always going to think the way I think, but what will change is that I do realise that ‘I can’t commit suicide because of the impact on others’. In knowing that you put a fake smile again and others are happy that your acting normal again. Like a smoker craving nicotine, for me depression has never gone away. The reason I want to write to you, is in the hopes you do become a member who speaks up for people with suicidal thoughts. You said there are structures out there but in my opinion they’ve only failed to help me. One doctor thought that the problem could be solved with sleeping pills, and another ignored me all together and said something along the lines of “look I’m not giving you drugs if that’s what your looking for”. The tax man hounded me for a lot of money for the good part of a year, which only made things worse which broke me down further, and I couldn’t deal with these new debts. When I was able to pull myself together, it turned out the government made a shitty mistake and never bothered to at least apologise when realising that I don’t owe anything, and that I had to point that there system was wrong. If I had done nothing, my debt would have grown and I would have been branded some form of criminal. I’ve been to many councillors, and I say many because after some weeks you get dropped. It takes the same about of weeks just to get started talking, so moving from councillor to councillor doesn’t help. I went to the doctor to get therapy, and some six months later I’m still waiting for an appointment. Six months is a long time, and someone like me, or potentially what could have been me, could have committed suicide within that time frame. So when you say there are structures out there, I have to reply and say no. No there is not. I can’t stand life. I just can’t. I’m really depressed I guess, but I’m not sure that’s the correct word. If I had nobody who cared about me I would not be bothered in continuing life, as I’m not overly bothered by death either. But I’m not suicidal. But I do want to stop thinking the way I think and the structures out there have failed me immensely. I hope if you do get better, you can try and work towards changing that, as someone who has been to rock bottom.

  1. Tom

    If that’s the catharsis he needs then good for him. There are endless amounts of comments you could make on a piece like that but unless you have the opportunity to sit down with the guy as a trusted friend and chat things over then there really isn’t much point.

    1. Jim

      Tom, I think you are missing the point here, the article wasn’t for Garreth alone it was for you, me and anybody who takes the time to read it. It’s about recognition……recognising the signs of depression in others and yourself. What we have to do next is see if we can see any of those signs in ourselves or others and in some way try to help. Unfortunately your comment doesn’t help and is ultimately pointless. With respect, try reading between the lines.

        1. deborah meehan

          at the end of the day u are worth it and with hard work and good people behind u you will get thru it and u will look back in yrs to come and wont no who the person was who wrong that letter and thank god u didn’t do away with urself and im speaking from experience bigtime, still have my of days but expect them, have 2 fab kids now that help me keep smiling to…..please be strong Garett xxx

      1. AHJAYZIS

        Try to understand, in ABM’s eyes suicide, like mothers dying in childbirth, is just someone skipping the queue for god’s houseparty.

    1. Bobby Dwyer

      ABM – What Gar did today was the definition of bravery, you’re sitting behind a computer screen trying to crack a ‘funny’ joke. While Gar is the definition of bravery, you’re the definition of a coward. Get back in your box.

      1. Jade

        Your the biggest dickhead tony you heartless prick ! Hope someone u love never suffers this cos until then u won’t realise anything ur a waste of space !!

      2. Mr been there,

        It’s Pricks like you that are destroying society… Goodness help the people that get involved with you, eh…. Well you just proved that your an attenction seeker by putting up this post! probably because you hav’nt got one real friend in the world, go away you asshole worm and come back when you learn at the very least a smigen of humanity, feckin wanker yea.

    2. Linda

      ABM, i sincerely hope you yourself dont go thru this or dont have to watch a family member or friend go through what he is in ur life because u will be seriously eating ur words then. Your disgusting.

    3. liz

      its people like u abm i dispise i hope none of ur family or friends ever suffer from depression because they sure as hell wont get any help from u ,u assh*le lets see will ur life always be so good

      1. Cathy

        ABM you’re such a gobshite, how dare you make such a comment. You’re one of the few fools out there who doesn’t have a clue about anything.

    1. Mark Murtagh

      Garreth . It was wonderful reading your post mate the world needs more brave young men like yourself. Keep talking ! Your mouth is the biggest tool and the most important part of laying down your foundation in your recovery. I can strongly identify with every thing that you spoke about. I’ll keep you in my prayers bro .. no mountain is to big your a soldier… ( Take no notice of them previous negative comments ) Thay are narrow minded idiots that haven’t a clue about life. Stay safe , strong, , and thanks a lot for your honesty bro….

  2. Jimmy Rimmel

    He’s right about that Kerry kid- all the hype about that poor lad hasn’t helped as far as I can see

    1. Tom

      I thought the suicide rate fell sharply in the region in the wake of his testimony? Genuinely life-affirming approach to terminal illness, I’d be amazed if it didn’t inspire some people close to the edge.

          1. steve white

            that coronor also said that corporal punishment should be brought back to reduce suicides

    2. Friday

      I agree completely, Walsh’s message was naive but well-intentioned. It perpetuates the idea that people with depression are selfish and just need to look at the people around them, then they’ll cop on. I blame the idiots who hailed Walsh as a hero who spoke the truth about suicide.

      1. Mark Murtagh

        Depression is a illness u empty head. You haven’t a clue about life that man has being to hell .what if it was someone close to your hart that was going true the same thing.? How would you feel.by the sound of your comments you only have feelings for yourself. You self centered little person. !!!!!!!

      2. Mary Egan

        Friday, I thought that Donal Walshe (RIP) was talking about young people who end their lives on a whim and I thought he made an exception in the case of anyone suffering from depression. I stand to be corrected on this.
        I have great admiration for Garreth. He found the answer and that is talking. It took a lot of courage to write the article and tell a very personal story. I know that it will help many who read it. I wish Garreth well and I hope he has many years of true happiness to make up for the bad times. God go with you Gareth.

        Mary Egan

        1. Frances

          Mary I agree with you totally. I think there needs to be a distinction between the black dog that is clinical depression where someone is so heavily in its grip they have no control over their desire to end their life, and reactive depression which I think is what Donal Walsh was addressing where the sheer volume of ‘events’ that happen to the typical teenager (hormones, break ups, peer pressure, school problems, cyber bullying, death of a friend through suicide) can become overwhelming. He seemed to be particularly focusing on teenagers who when met with all these life issues may think their only way out is suicide as they haven’t had to deal with these types of emotions before and may not have the tools in their life kit to handle them. I think he was just trying to get them to think before they acted. I don’t think he intended in any way to trivialise the sort of clinical depression that has a strangle hold on some peoples lives. Gareth your story and courage are remarkable. Stay strong and I hope some of the positive thoughts and suggestions are of some help to you.

  3. fluffybiscuits

    Amazingly open and beautifully written, gives a good insight into how we should help. On the basis though of Donal Walsh, I agree somewhat with the lad but not on the basis that we should tell people who are suicidal to cop on but that those of a suicidal state should take into account that they themselves are the victim of a thought process which is incompatible with living life to the full. Depression as was mentioned on facebook was classed as an inability to construct a future, a life as there is no hope the person feels and the peace they feel upon death is that release. How do you strike a balance Gareth do you think of the people who love you without them bothering you? As you are the one who is suffering tell people these are the boundaries beyond which things bother me. You are the one with the power to change the one with the ability to control your life with the right tools (of which Im ill equipped to advise you of). This from me is personal experience. Im 31 now and happy in a stable relationship with a man I love, a job that well its not a career but its interesting, a family and great friends, I want for nothing. At 18 i was intending on ending it all as I struggled with my body image (Im fat), my sexuality and not having friends but I changed. I dont want to blather on in case you think Im patronising you but I went to college at 19 and life went uphill. At 24 I got cancer and the will to live was reignited even further. Nothing I can say is going to ease any of your pain Gareth and none of it is going to lessen it but if even amongst what I wrote you can take a little solace and jsut even some tiny hint of hope and a slice of light with which to lighten that dark tunnel then go for it.

    I apologise if what I wrote is patronising, drivel or in anyway offensive but your post struck a chord. I have battled a few times when I had to pick myself but nothing extreme.

    Warm hugs

    Fluffy :)

        1. kot

          I really loved this post too fluffy biscuits. It really scares me to see so many people posting here about taking their own lives… it makes me feel very helpless. I wish there was more I could do. My friend suffered with depression and anxiety a few years ago and still does from time to time. But she alwsys said me making her a cuppa or even a warm hug as u say made a world of difference in her day. Thank u for sharing ur story too.

  4. Ex-isle

    Great post and sadly mirrors my own experience including suicide attempts and time spent in hospital, concern of friends and the ongoing “illness”. I also found the way Donal Walsh’s obviously well-intentioned comments have been used almost as a stick to beat suicidal people – effectively saying telling people that its not all bad and it could be worse – infuriating.I have all I could ever have asked for in life – job, money, wonderful family – but also persistent painful mental illness that often incapacitates, sucks the joy out of living and which seduces into thinking that d

  5. Ex-isle

    Great post and sadly mirrors my own experience including suicide attempts and time spent in hospital, concern of friends and the ongoing “illness”. I also found the way Donal Walsh’s obviously well-intentioned comments have been used almost as a stick to beat suicidal people – effectively saying telling people that its not all bad and it could be worse – infuriating.I have all I could ever have asked for in life – job, money, wonderful family – but also persistent painful mental illness that often incapacitates, sucks the joy out of living and which seduces into thinking that d

  6. Ex-isle

    Sorry that post got away from me…
    Here goes again:

    Great post and sadly mirrors my own experience including suicide attempts and time spent in hospital, concern of friends and the ongoing “illness”. I also found the way Donal Walsh’s obviously well-intentioned comments have been used almost as a stick to beat suicidal people – effectively telling people that its not all bad and it could be worse – infuriating.I have all I could ever have asked for in life – job, money, wonderful family – but also persistent painful mental illness that often incapacitates, sucks the joy out of living and which seduces into thinking that death is better than painful existence. And ultimately better not just for me but my kids, wife, family and friends.

    1. Ex-isle

      I’d imagine that theoretically you could become suicidal as an extreme reaction to one event – a death, divorce, impending imprisonment etc – without being clinically depressed.

      1. Sidewinder

        I think most people’s problem with understanding suicide is that they think one of the above has to exist for someone to consider it. People who aren’t depressed sometimes die by suicide. People who are depressed sometimes have no trigger for that depression – no grief, no personal or financial problems, nothing. It just sometimes happens. And that’s where the “cop on” attitude comes from. People don’t understand that it’s not that people aren’t willing to appreciate life, it’s that they can’t. Doesn’t mean they aren’t trying.

    2. f_lawless

      @Derval
      also those who plan to sacrifice their own lives in order to gain martyrdom and further a cause as they see it.

    3. sugartits

      Yes. There are people suffering from a manic bipolar episode that have committed suicide. They were not suffering from depression. Schizophrenics do also. Mental illness does not just come in the form of depression.

  7. Michelle

    I feel like you Garreth and nobody has a clue. You’re braver than me, hope everything works out for you and you find some solace and happiness.

    1. Sidewinder

      Hope you are getting help Michelle. Lots of organisations you can talk to anonymously if you wish.

      Good luck.

    2. neil

      It really does get better eventually, even though it’s impossible to imagine when you’re in the middle of it.

      As above, if you don’t feel able to talk to friends or family, there are charities or professional counsellors who will listen. If you’re in college (or some workplaces also) you may be able to get free access to a counsellor.

      Talk to someone if you can, or just hold on through it, it will pay off in time.

    3. Linda

      Michelle i really hope u tell someone. You need help if u feel like this, its not embarrassing everyone needs a helping hand now and then. Ive been battling depression since i was 14 and am currently in a recent stint of it. Its my birthday today and i know full well if i hadnt of told my friends how i was feeling recently i wouldnt be able to cope putting on the brave face today.. Them just sitting here beside me helps wonders. Even if u feel more comfortable talking to a stranger, email me. Take care of urself x

  8. H

    Fair play Gareth, I’m really pleased that you are seeking help as I know that can be almost as daunting as the illness itself in some ways and I wish you all the very best for a full recovery.

    I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one who found some aspects of Donal Walsh’s comments unhelpful, while what he said may have been true for him it doesn’t make it true for everyone else.

    1. Ella

      I can see how some of what Donal Walsh said to be un helpful however after reading some of the comments I have to say although we may not agree with all he said we are all still here talkin about suicide and is that not the main thing?
      creating awareness making people feel comfortable being able to open up and get a response.
      however I would also like to say that Donal you too were an incredible inspiration and extremely brave and selfless young man that was taken way before your time yet you have achieved and incredible amount in such a short period!
      there is probably someone who is suffering from depression at this moment in time reading garets story and all the positive comments he got back has to bring a glimmer of light to someone. Or open up the door to give them that push they needed to talk to somor at the very least see that there is others suffering in the same way to. So really people who are suffering from depression are feeling so alone in the world right now are actually more than likely part of one of the biggest groups and there are thousand feelin the exact same they just don’t know it. But Gareth I think you are truly an amazing brave and honest man and I thank you for getting this conversation up and going because it is well overdue.
      I wish you all the best health and happiness.

  9. Aoife

    WOW!!!!! That gave me goosebumps because I too suffer with my mental health. I admire you for speaking out, and try, try so hard, to think of the positives of life, I know it is hard, but try…… xx

  10. Peadar

    Well done for getting it out there. Without trying to latch to on or just repeat to the same point lots of others are making – its about time someone with a deep mental health issue and suicidal ideations made this point about the Donal Walsh programme and articles. Donal is a genuinely courageous young man and an inspiration to many but unfortunately he hasnt a clue about suicide and suicidal ideations as a result of mental health problems and its about time that was opened up more. Most of what he had to say about the issue was irrelevant, I accept the short term reduction in suicides in Kerry but as someone with longstanding issues myself what he had to say was so far removed from the reality most people find themselves in. Thanks to Garreth for writing this and all I can say as someone who is by and large over their issues after years and years of trying is to keep at it until the breakthroughs come and they do come.

  11. General Lee Nice

    Very brave Gareth. How you are feeling will pass as it has before. Tie yourself to the mast.
    I am sure your letter has helped many people, as it has helped you.

  12. Mr P.

    I, like many, do not understand depression.
    I find it difficult when reading this story to tear myself from thinking the following;
    – We all feel down sometimes, it’s part of life, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and reaffirm yourself.
    – Are you sure this is not a bit of being a suffering hero, looking for pats on the back for not killing yourself?
    – Is this about being the centre of attention? Having friends & family tip-toe around you?
    – STFU and come on out for a pint ye unsocial bollix, sitting at home in the dark will only make it worse!

    I think these things because I don’t understand what depression is, I’m 40 years old and have always been presented with “These kind of things” as a weakness, an excuse for something else, laziness/shyness/rudeness.
    I do applaud this man and others for trying to explain it and bringing attention to this condition/illness and hope that people like him will help younger generations avoid the ignorance of people like myself and have an appreciation that to be ill is often more than cancer/flu/other physical ailments.

    On the other hand, I also hope that the awareness of this illness does not provide the blame seeking generation a new word to excuse their behaviour. To do this will only water down the severity with which I am starting to believe depression can take a hold of a life, much like the way ADHD is now the reason every little shit is behaving like… a little shit.

    I understand how some of my comments will anger some readers, but is it not better to be honest in my ignorance of this topic rather than nod sympathetically without knowing how to help.

    Good luck to the author, you have chipped a little more away from a very large mountain.

    1. ok

      Try to look at it this way, would you tell someone with cancer that they should simply cop onto themselves and stop having cancer?

      1. Mr P.

        But that is sort of the point, I know you have cancer because the doctor saw the cancer stuck to your liver, he even took a picture of it, it’s all yellow and gross..
        However I know you are depressed because you told me, or a head doctor said you are showing some symptoms of it.

        1. H

          I agree that the hyperbole and a half cartoon is the best representation of depression, I was going to post that link myself!

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Fair play Mr. P for what I can see is an honest admission. Just keep informing yourself, it’s all any of us can do.

      …..I’m with you on the kids with ADHD bit, btw.

    3. Jay

      This is almost all of my thoughts as well – Down times exist but I have never left them in my thoughts longer than needed, think positive and set myself the tiniest of goal helps considerably imo. I guess it shows there isnt two of each of us anywhere, hope this fella gets better and stop thinking about taking his own life..

    4. w.b.

      It is hard to explain these are irrational feelings after all. When I felt depressed it felt like I was being assailed by alien thoughts and feelings, I felt very negative about things that I realize now were very trivial. Imagine feeling terrible but it seemingly being out of your control to recover from those feelings.

      Great article.

    5. rhocro

      when your ther youl understand..i hope u never are…but ye have be ther at that low point to understand…thers no point me explainin this to you as you are clearly ignorant…please god may u remain ignorant cuz itst something id wish upon anyone

    6. Steiner62

      FYI Mr.P & thanks fotr your honesty. Depression is not just a mental illness, it’s a physical one too. The simplest task requires a superhuman effort to complete. I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase “she took to the bed”. It literally drains you of the will to take action, to live a life worth living. Here is a very good piece that I think encapsulates what it’s about written by the well known comedian & latterly Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Ruby Wax on her own experience with this very real disease….link to her dedicated website included for you or anyone else here interested!

      About five years ago I had the tsunami of depressions. I always had something wrong as a child; no one knew what it was. I didn’t feel sad as the name of the illness suggests, simply flat-lined, dead, my mind erased. I would lie for days on end in a kind of awake coma.

      My mother, who was miserable through most of her life, was told by the doctors she was fine, just having a change of life. Yeah, for the last 87 years? I’m told if you don’t treat depression and you have more than three episodes it will reoccur and get deeper and longer each time.

      Five years ago I couldn’t leave a chair for weeks on end, everything was too terrifying, so I just stayed glued in my chair. I felt everything inside my room was dangerous, especially the shower. When I was finally told I had depression, I was so relieved at last I could find a pill to help me. Later I found out it’s not so easy finding the right medication and/or therapist. To find the right one is like winning the jackpot in Vegas. No one knows what a good shrink is supposed to do and on top of it if you’re ill, you really can’t judge if someone is just sitting there, bluffing. I once had a shrink who fell asleep behind me with a corned beef sandwich hanging out of his mouth. I took his silence as profound knowledge. As far as medication it’s another crap shoot and they’re handed out like candy at Halloween.

      We are in the dark ages when it comes to mental illness and the government is spending less and less on it. In five years when criminality, diabetes, certain cancers, suicides and money lost in business because of absenteeism goes up so high it’s off the chart, let us remember it all stems from the mothership, the brain. And if they don’t spend money on researching this vital organ there will be hell to pay.
      Everyone is affected by mental illness not just those who suffer, not just their care-givers but all of society. This is why I have started Blackdogtribe.com. So you can meet like-minded people online to stop feeling so alone and ashamed which is part of the package that comes with mental illness. You can come on anonymously but someday I hope we can all form a large group, get a voice and do something to fight the discrimination.

      Ruby Wax

      – See more at: http://blackdogtribe.com/rubys-blog/ruby-why-‘we-are-dark-ages-when-it-comes-mental-illness’#sthash.otJhti52.dpuf

  13. Brigid

    Well done for speaking out. You are very brave and ultimately helping others by doing this. I hope you are doing well today. Each day at a time. All the best for you.

    1. Caroline

      I agree. Spent my time in St.Johns also. And I’m a mental health nurse, and should know the right tools to stay well. But outside influences and internal pain can coexist without others, especially family exist. There is no way to explain the internal mental pain. I don’t know what is the right answer, some people believe strongly in the medication ‘fix’, but that is only part of it. I am out if the other side of a dark dark place, but I can’t say that the idea is parked on the 2 attempts on my life. One thing I have learned is to talk. Talk to God, talk to a helpline, and understanding friend, to yourself. Get away from your own head space. I don’t like the bad things said about Donal, all he was trying ti get across was to talk to someone, to not shy away from the help available. He knew his life was being cut short, and he just wanted to try and prevent others from the same thing . Statistics show that suicide numbers haleved in the 6 months after his death. Is that not a good enough legacy to leave. RIP Donal, and Gareth my thoughts and prayers are with you.

      1. Steiner62

        Well said Caroline!

        I understand too Garreth. I was locked in Joseph’s in “The God’s” (for my own safety I now realise) for a month in February 2011. Had been back in early 1994 too but it was much worse this time. Mad as a March Hare (Psychotic Deprtession). Though at the time all my literally insane thought processes made perfect sense to me, if only my friends who visited realised that I was in a Parrellel Universe etc etc.I don’t have the balls to do what you just did. Well maybe I have grown a small pair now here thanks to you! Keep going. we need fluent speakers like you Garreth to shine a light on this Darkness. Have you discovered http://www.blackdogtribe.com yet? it’s worth a look. Stay Well my Brother In Arms…

        Respect
        Des

  14. R

    Donal W. was speaking from anger and anguish, this does not make what he said true or right. It made me angry at the time that others placed such faith in his reading of a situation he didn’t understand. I have been through both cancer and depression. I keep an eye out for both of them to re-occur. They were very different experiences and one could not prepare you for the other. Best regards in dealing with your depression and my thoughts are with you.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      Mine did…I learnt to appreciate life a lot more, it depends on what angle you take so just ensure that you clarify your angle is particular to yourself…

    2. breda foley

      Mental health and physical health: both on a maintenance if not minded anyone can loose either.

      Everyone has mental health but it’s management of your own body and mind and soul
      Not religious- but the soul needs love too

      If you don’t mind it you can loose it ANYONE AND EVERYONE- it doesn’t say you come from x or work at y- everyone can be affected.
      It’s maintenance- daily and sometimes hourly

      Stay strong. Not easy but ignored problems don’t go away

      Thanks to garrad for amazing post- i too was in John of God’s hospital- spent nearly 3 months there but I pretended to myself also that I was fine (even though while in the hospital i attempted to take my life) my insurance ran out and discharged very quickly was in the public sector. And still in denial from myself. Wasn’t until 5 years later i realised that it is part medication- get you started and alive while you deal with reason for hating yourself so much- and i may need meds for the rest of my life- i also have asthma and will probably have that for life too- doesn’t stop me using my inhaler…
      I attend GROW meetings weekly (although fell behind at Xmas and hadn’t been in a few months- but part of my maintenance plan for life it is a supportive safe place for anyone with any mental health problems, i attend therapy weekly.

      Just as medication alternative/ adjunctive support too.

      I thought I was the only one upset by Donal Walsh words- but he was young and angry at the world- different support he needed- but I hope he got mental health support during his short life- now i am more angry at the lack of people coming out and confronting that young man- yes he was going through his own hell but hell is hell- depression for one, cancer, lung disease all can lead to death – accidentally or unfortunately choices.

      If anyone else had said what he said people would have come forward and debated (argue politely)

      Anyway thanks to every comment here all inspired (excuse the occaional gobshit) but some people are ignorant and don’t want to understand

      Stay safe and strong everyone

      1. @TommyRoddy

        Breda,
        There is absolutely no evidence that Donal was angry with the world. In fact the opposite is the case. He talked about the anger he felt when hearing of people taking their own lives which was a pretty normal response. He made the best of the short life he had and is an inspiration to us all whether we suffer from mental health difficulties or not.

  15. SarahJane

    I was depressed for about a year in my late teens, though I didn’t recognize it for what it was for months. I eventually realised that I couldn’t go on that way, and made a conscious decision to be better just for one day, and remade that decision every day, well, until I was better. It worked for me at the time.
    Depression came back when I turned 30, and I really struggled. I didn’t feel I could disclose to my family (never have, never will) or anyone at work (lethal weapons being available). To paraphrase a previous poster, I didn’t want to kill myself, I just didn’t want to wake up anymore. I went for counselling for 9 months. I’m still prone to depression, but I’m so much better at managing it now. I accept that depression is an illness, and that medication may be necessary in some cases, but in others it does require a hard-made decision to fight back mentally.

  16. Murtles

    I’d have been in the same boat as Mr P there and certainly my attitude to Mental Health issues has changed only in the last 4 or 5 years of my 40+. Probably as mental health always was a hush hush issue and probably our parents and grandparent may have instilled a subliminal message when we were growing up about the “quare fella” or the “mad one” down the road.

    Thankfully it’s the likes of Garreth there and Conor Cusack that are brave enough to openly tell us about their circumstances and experiences that it can enlighten others and gives us a better understanding of how and if we can lend a hand or a shoulder if needed (or not if the case may be and if we should just stfu especially with the ” ara pull yourself together” comments). Information is power. I think we still have a part of the cloak of taboo still fluttering around the subject of depression here in Ireland but I do think it is being eroded away and in part to informative blogs such as this. Thanks.

  17. Grim

    I mirror the sentiment above. You’re lucky Gareth as you are aware of the issue. Many more in the same position staring down a black tunnel, completely unaware. Share the light people, it’s the only hope. Fair dues and good luck for your bright future kid.

  18. Always Irish No Matter Where I live

    Gar, I know exactly how you feel. I wrestle with my own demons daily. I keep coming back to my beautiful daughter, how she would be if I left the earth, and it stops me every time. Having said that, I understand this is an illness that will be with me forever. The best I can is to prepare her for the inevitable by letting her know its not her, its me, and that when these powerful emotions take hold there is little I can do to stop my urges. I have no doubt I will die by my own hand some day, its never been in doubt. I too drink to forget. I know I have a problem, but nobody else would. Great job, beautiful family, nice house, I live on a tropical island for gods sake, whats not to be happy about?! I know people see me as the happy joker but deep down I’m about the unhappiest and scared person you’ll meet. I am eternally alone, even with family and friends I trust around me. I end most days in tears. I can’t shake the feeling, I’m the one with the dark cloud overhanging.
    I wake up every morning and my first thought is “why didnt I just die in my sleep?” It would be so much easier. As said before, I don’t want to kill myself, I just want to die. I’m trying to find the little things to be happy about, a good friend to laugh with, a great book to put my energy into, some lovely music to keep me going. Its been hard, and I know its going to get harder. Meeting new friends is so difficult because people judge me for how I am on any given day instead of who I am inside. People don’t really want to understand the depressed, they are also kind of incapable.
    Thank you so much for your post. It resonates right through me and has given me courage to go on. Good luck Gar in everything you do.
    Thank you again. xx

    1. H

      Perhaps you should seek help? Or different help of you have already done so, having suffered for many years myself I have come out the other side and I believe that depression can be beaten.

      1. Always Irish No Matter Where I live

        I’ve tried. I just cannot open up. And in the end, each to their own. But its posts like this from honest people that give me hope. Thanks for your concern. Best of luck. x

        1. B Bop

          Very brave of you too, Always Irish.
          Reading this whole piece I feel so sad for people suffering out there.
          I’ve always found I garner the most joy from beautiful walks, music & simple things in life-even the unconditional love of a dog.
          That’s not much use to these cases though.
          Reading your comments-have you considered you may be chemically lacking serotonin-you hear of people doing well on meds??
          All I can wish, is for you to know you’re a valuable & loved person & we’re all on life’s path together-you’re not alone. Please try to consider someone to help-you opened up to us Broadsheeters.

    2. Garthicus

      Ah jaysus. This brought a tear to my eye at my desk.

      I don’t know what to say other than I wish you all the best in this battle and hope you surface for your own sake and the sake of your family and friends who love you.

      Al

  19. AD

    Excellent post Garreth….I read it and with every word my stomach churned some more with the references that you have used…. John of Gods, “that” secure ward, Dunlaoire, your balcony etc. I have been there with my partner, sole mate, best friend, he too was ill and a few months ago decided that one night he had enough and that I would be better off without hime in my life…he said “I have lived 42 years and they don’t get any better”. Well they sure wont now, I am not angry with him…..just so incredibly sad for him and for me too. I just wish he had talked to me some more that night, maybe he might still be here, or maybe not…….all I know is that I miss him every minute of every day.
    Please talk to someone if you feel like he did……..one thought that hits me every day since is that this is so final, there is absolutely no way back. Please talk.

  20. Dav

    To Garreth and everyone who commented, sharing their thoughts and experiences: thank you.
    As luck would have it, I’ve been having “one of those days” today. In trying to organise a college application, that worthlessness and mockery you spoke about kicked in, leaving me bed-ridden in the foetal position all day. In trying to give it a second go, my anxiety lead me away from work and onto BS (a glowing blurb if ever there was one…), where I found this article. It floored me.
    I’d have posted sooner, but I’ve been crying uncontrollably for the last half hour from reading through it and the comments.
    I realise now that, despite having finished counselling in the summer, I’m starting to fall into old habits again and that this needs addressing. I was beginning to feel useless and alone again (along with a generous helping of “Who am I kidding? Can’t I just be dead already?” etc), but having read everyone’s kind words, it’s helped me feel that wee bit more normal and put things into the their proper perspective.
    I’m not normally one for sharing online like this, but you’ve all had such an effect on me, I feel compelled to do so and would therefore like thank you all once again for making an otherwise shitty day end on a comparatively better high.
    I, too, feel better for having written this!
    D

    1. Been there every day

      This negativity that hounds so many of us can be tackled- I say talk back to the thought-ask it questions- break it down. I’ve read briefly about mindfullness and Im trying this attack on my negativity, self doubt ect and its a slow process but is helping.

  21. D

    Thank you so much for this, I had two close family members similar to this, one didnt make it and the other did ,just about, reading this helped me come to understand what they went through so much, close to tears reading it.

    Get better

  22. Ringos Dove

    These are the best postings I have ever read on Broadsheet. Everyone sharing their own experiences will hopefully make all those lucky enough not to suffer from depression realise, even just a little bit, understand a little bit more about it. I take my hat off to Garreth and everyone who’s been brave enough to be open and honest in their writing here. The stigma might never go away and the young guy who told people to “cop on” maybe took our attitudes a step backwards, but hopefully people realise he was just a naive kid, with misguided intentions. More of this kind of stuff please and my thoughts are with you all.

  23. DaniDaaé

    Wow. I’m glad I saw this. I’m so glad you were brave enough to tell your story. Nobody talks about mental health issues openly, and I think it’s one of the main reasons that these conditions get so bad – Anyone who’s struggling thinks that they’re the only one.
    I’ve been battling with depression and anxiety for about 6 years now, and it’s people like you who give me the hope and strength to get through it, and I’m sure your story will help a lot of people going through the same thing. You’re a hero, Gar.

  24. Jade

    Fair play Gareth for your brave story, for the cowards that commented with the negative crap they clearly don’t have a clue about life,shallow minded people will get nowhere in life. Not alot of people get the chance that Gareth is getting so I admire his honesty and bravery!

  25. Jade

    Fair play Gareth for your brave story, for the cowards that commented with the negative crap they clearly don’t have a clue about life,shallow minded people will get nowhere in life. Not alot of people get the chance that Gareth is getting so I admire his honesty and bravery!

  26. lesley keogh

    What a very brave young man to open himself up to all the negative comments that are bound to follow an article like this. Go to your councelling and stick with it. I am 57 and I have struggled with those thoughts for years. Only the grief it would cause my family have stopped me doing something. Ive tried medication and it helps for awhile but I have been in councelling for a year now and it has certainly turned my life around. It was hard and I am going back again soon, just taking a breather to take stock of where I am now. You have given me the courage to post this comment. I wish you the very best of luck that things will get better for you and you have taken the first step. I have just had the best christmas of my life and it will happen for you. Its one day at a time and you can I hope learn to silence that voice and feel good about yourself. Just keep trying.

  27. Kelly

    This is so true, nothing like what you read on mental health how its put out to be such a dark place and the word “talk” scares the living day lights out of me because i don’t talk, to absolutely anyone, keep it all bottled up, no matter how big or small it stays inside.. but after reading this i realise its good to talk, and its ok to let people in.. it was lovely to read!

  28. Elly

    Thank you so much for sharing such honest thoughts. It takes such courage to be able to get to the point of going to counseling, and your message will have helped more people than you will know. Keep strong x

  29. Yellow

    Well done Garreth for being brave enough to post your deepest darkest thoughts for the world to see. I myself have been suffering from mental illness for 13 years (nearly half my life!). In the past I’ve attempted suicide, self harmed, hospital stays etc and it’s hard, there’s no denying it. The best piece of advice I ever got was to take one day at a time, not worry about tomorrow just focus on getting through today and it does help …sometimes but I also am familiar with that dark place you have described and know that when your in that place it’s hard to see it getting better, I’ve been in that place many times and always thought it can’t get better but it does, maybe not much better or maybe not for a long period of time but it does get better than that dark place. Suicidal thoughts are so hard to deal with and I know I will probably be battling them again in the future but for now I’m doing okay. This time 2 years ago I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been and was determined to take my own life, I tried, I failed and I’m here now, still taking one day at a time.

    I wish everyone reading this that is or has suffered with mental illness in any shape or form the best of luck. Suicide is never the only option.

    Xx

  30. Celine

    what a powerful piece of writing…i truely believe in order to truely understand a human condition you must first experience it in some shape or form…

  31. kitty

    Garreth,

    Your strength is inspiring. The fact that you have achieved so much while dealing with your illness speaks volumes about your character. I hope you feel better soon. Keep up the good work man!

  32. Aoife

    Thank you. I thought I was the only one who felt like that about Gavin Walsh. He infuriated me and made me feel absolutely awful, or worse than normal actually.
    I’d love to read the comments but my brain is just too tired to take it in.

    Thank you for writing such a stellar piece and I hope things look up for you soon

  33. Holly

    I think you’re an inspiration to a lot of people who are too afraid to talk about their problems, in opening up about your experiences you’ve given hope to many in saying it’s okay to speak out and let people know how you feel and that is recommendable in itself.

    You’re a very brave guy and I can’t imagine what you’re going through but know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, you may not feel it but after reading your post I can see that you are so strong! and I know that you can get through these little battles that have came in the way of your happiness.

    Try and believe in yourself because myself and a load of other strangers reading your post do.
    :) x

  34. DJA

    This is the most raw and true thing iv ever read , you should be so proud of yourself their are so many people reading this and ticking the box and feeling no longer alone , people relating to this is huge part of helping others , as one of the huge factors of this is feeling alone with the fears and feeling different when in fact so many feel this unwanted way ..your a very brave young person , and I’m so happy you did not press delete as are many people , wether it’s people being personally effected or family members , your journalism skills have shined through in a great light , be loud and proud and keep the head high … ☀️

  35. Marguerite Glorney Groarke

    What a brilliant, courageous piece of writing, Garrett! Be gentle on yourself.
    I, too, am infuriated by people who preach about suicide and what a waste of life it is, etc. They have, obviously, never been to that dark place.
    Wishing you the very best.

  36. Michelle

    I hope you find some peace Garreth. Fair play to you for speaking out if more people were able to do that more lives could be saved. I hope you hcan take something positive out of the positive comments above. God bless.

  37. Laura

    Well done Gareth. You should b proud of urself. It’s about time ppl start speaking out abt it to give awareness and more understanding. What the bleep do we know helped me. Good luck

  38. Sheila

    Well done Garrett . By you sharing your illness with so many,
    might save some lives, as men don’t talk a lot like us women do, There’s a famous All Black John Kirwin who also suffered with depression, and he has written a book on his experience’s and part of his rehabilitation was to exercise when he felt low, keep up the good work ..you’ll fight it

  39. Orla O Connor Cox

    Garreth.

    The eloquence and honesty with which you have written this tale of your feeling right now, is beautiful and powerful.
    I hope I can continue to find your writing for many years to come.
    Take care.
    O.

  40. good helen

    Hey Garreth, im so glad that I’m not the only Person that felt Donals speech although he felt was for the good was actually very patronising.

    I understood the boy was ill however. … It made it out like suiside was Something people had a choice about. Now while it may be physically true.. mentally we both know this doesn’t be the case.

    It felt Like he was making out people were selfish for doing this.

    I’ve suffered at the hands of depression for a long long time. i have good and bad days. … even months. I’m medicated and counselled. However I know there had been moments in my life where walking down the road wasn’t just walking down the road it was thinking … what would it be like to just walk in front of that car. jump off that high building. .. There was no control over my thoughts. life just was not worth it. I’m surprised im still here. But each day I live to fight another day.

    This boy who talked about having cancer that was taking his life. Well. .. In some ways. . People have depression which takes their lives.

    I am a mum of a young boy. And many people who have killed themselves would have had young children. family. friends. I think people think to commit suicide u need to be crazy. But this is it. It is a chemical issue in the brain.

    Your doing the right thing. making an apt. And you will get better again. But you will also get bad again. And as long as you are able to recognise the signs I feel you should be ok. It’s that part that’s very important.

    I know you are not looking for sympathy. Jesus id say u get enough of it from people. But I do wish you the best. Cos I tell u this road that we walk can be pretty shit. But it can also be pretty beautiful. X

  41. SonicView

    This has certainly struck a chord with me today…
    Was in with a shrink yesterday for the first time, although he was useless and just gave me some drugs…
    (i’m not in ireland btw). It was my first time really opening up a little, although I didn’t say much to the Doc. I do think that the awareness being generated in Ireland is helping this.

    I really relate to the booze part too. I’m on the wagon now, but I also will go back on it after a few weeks because I like to drink. And I think “Lorraine murphy’s comment up above hits on that mental state, where those with depression use drink or drugs to slowly self destruct.

    Anyway, I’m grand today. And I haven’t even taken the shrink’s drugs yet. I felt good reading this.

    Thank you so much for sharing Garreth.

  42. Niamh

    Garreth thank you for writing this article. It’s so honest it resonated with me in so many of the things you said. You are so brave to have gone what you have gone through and then to share your experience with other people. Usually people only speak out after they’ve gone through something like this but you have spoken out at a dark time when it is the hardest to say anything. That voice inside your head that says youre not good enough is not your voice, its the voice of other people who youve met in your life who have told you youre not enough. The strength you found to overcome this before and the bravery you show now is you. All the best take care of yourself.

  43. Laura

    You will never know how many lives you have saved with this article Garreth. Perhaps including your own. My best friend struggles with bi-polar disorder and I struggle with serious depression so mental health issues are a daily part of my life.

    Once you open the windows, so to speak, and let in the light by talking, talking, talking about your mental state with brutal honesty with your family and friends – you have hope. The little prick in your head loves the dark. He thrives there, as you know. And when you are feeling the exhaustion, the sheer exhaustion, when you realise, after a long period of thinking the ‘little prick’ was gone for good, that he is back – just know that each time he comes back he is weaker and you are stronger. Because the ‘little prick’ doesn’t change. He doesn’t learn new tricks. But you will – each time you defeat him you are stronger. You learn the way back. And you realise you don’t have the travel the road alone, as you might have once thought. Bring those you love with you. They want to take that journey with you and they can – if you let them.

    Thanks for your message. When I say you are brave, I mean it in the most important and sincere way possible.

  44. Julie

    I unfortunately have the same illness, iv lost 2 children aged 3yrs and 15yrs due to cystic fibrosis and find most days a struggle, I can go weeks when I feel ok then it hits again, and life becomes so hard, with most people not understanding, but here I am writing this still here still fighting through each day, especially for my beautiful 9yr old healthy daughter. Keep well xxx

  45. Garthicus

    The fact that so many new faces/accounts are posting to this piece shows the chord it has struck.

  46. Gemma

    Hi Gareth, I am writing to you in relation to my friend who also tried to die by suicide 12 yrs ago. She was very ill due to being gang raped and she had lost everything most of all her mind. She went on a downward spiral of depression and helplessness was hospitalized and full of medication so she decided to end it all not because she wanted to but because her mind couldn’t take anymore and her thoughts were telling her she would be better off dead and there would be no more pain she also had no control over how she was feeling. She would spend every waking hour thinking of how to do it so it would work and be successful and was living in a complete nightmare. Your so right about Donal Walsh she too was incensed about his statements as suicide is not something you can control it’s your mental thoughts that are controlling you and it is like life is in reverse your happy thoughts are now thoughts of death and all she wanted was to be happy it is not a choice you want to be making for the heck of it unless as you said you reach out and get the courage to call out and ask for help which she did and tell some one. The other thing a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that some psychiatric medication can cause suicidal thoughts too and if your not strong enough to read the package you have no idea why one would want to die. Thank you so much for putting your story out there your fantastic. My friend is doing very well still rebuilding her life but her mental health is doing great. I wish you all the best of everything in life take care of yourself and your mental health you are blessed with an amazing strength & gift. Take care & best wishes for 2014 & the future.

  47. Sandra McKinley

    Garreth, your health is your wealth, a very true saying that most people only realise the true meaning when life shows them. I commend your honesty, I commend your truth to yourself, but be kinder to you, you are a very special brave man. I’ll say a prayer for you that you will conquer this illness and look forward to hearing a lot more from you in the future! Best wishes Sandra

  48. ger

    Ive experienced this in my family and its not easy to deal with, unfortunately i lost my mam to suicide 5 months ago and all i can say is it doesn’t solve any problem, stay strong man and never give up the world needs people like you, God please

  49. Deirdre

    Hi Garreth, normally I never comment on articles that I read but in this case I feel compelled to. I think this article is fantastic. It shows just what a brave strong man you really are. It’s not easy to share with a nation your darkest insecurities and how they have brought you to the brink and back. I think most people in this country have been affected by suicide in one way or another. It’s great that your raising awareness of mental health issues and that your showing people how successful you are by seeking help. You have reached out to so many people by writing this, and no doubt your saving many lives too even though you may not be aware.
    Congratulations and all the best in the future.

  50. Andrew Betley

    I am going through the same thing myself I feel like I can relate.
    The last 3 years I had had severe social anxiety and have not left my house much.
    2 years ago on new years eve near midnight i slit my wrists and was found in my bathroom by my brothers girlfriend unconscious.
    I smoke cannabis and whenever I dont smoke it my anxiety gets much worse.
    I am always tryin to cut down and quit but the anxiety takes over and im stuck in a never ending circle which I make myself think I cant get out of.
    I have been on anti depressants for the first time in my life for a month today and today was my 7th (2nd last) counseling session.
    Over the past 2 months my mood and motivation has improved so much and I ow it to the anti depressants and counseling.
    I dj in nightclubs but not as much recently and it is hard when you suffer from social anxiety.

    I feel as I am a success story in the making by never giving up since that new years day and always wanting to make my life better.

    For anybody who is ever feeling down the only way to get rid of it is to talk about it to somebody, find your problem and do what you can to get rid of these problems.
    It can be easier than you think and you can improve quicker than expected but only if your willing to put the effort in.

  51. Deborah Kinsella

    Fair play to you for writing that. It was good to read, it’s not often people share thoughts like that, and hopefully a lot of people that read it took something from It That can help them Or someone else. Enjoy what you have , your girl, your job, Your car , your money. You deserve it! ;-)))) positive thoughts all the way for you :-)))

  52. David Johnston

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it takes a brave person to stand up to stand up and acknowledge what is going on, and also to share that with others. Perhaps in that strength you may have a way of going forward to channel what has happened into hope for others. I remember a low point in my life and a friend said that this would give me the gift of empathy with other people in a similar situation and as it turned out he was right. I have found taking one day at a time (sounds cliched, but true) and doing your best is enough. Acknowledge the voice in your head, but like an old friend telling the same story again and again, just nod and smile. Keep the faith, this too will pass.

  53. Jo

    Couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on Donal Walsh, no doubt he was a very, very brave young man with a lot to live for who had that taken away from him through no fault/choice of his own, but it is not fair on those struggling with mental health issues/suicide ideation to just brush stroke over it & simplify it that way. The best of intentions were there no doubt but I think for some people it may have made them feel guiltier, less worthy – all of the very things they need to avoid.

  54. Ms. K

    MR. P:

    Actually you CAN see depression. The link below shows a PET scan of a “healthy” brain and a brain of a person with depression.

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/procedure/pet-scan/multimedia/-pet-scan-of-the-brain-for-depression/IMG-20007400

    I personally believe depression is probably a long term illness that unfortunately people need to learn to live with, just like diabetes or any other chronic condition.
    You will have good and bad days. It takes hard work to manage it, but it’s worth it. The most important part is learning to recognise that you are NOT defined by your illness or negative thoughts. They are only thoughts. This time Garreth spotted them before they could completely take over, and is taking the initiative to get help, which is very inspiring.

    My advice for anyone with depression is find support and look after yourself as best you can. Start therapy, start practising mindfulness techniques (which help us slow down and separate ourselves from our busy lives and negative thoughts), eat well and sleep well, and get fresh air every day.

    Donal Walsh’s message came from a good place, but was very naive. Beating depression is hard work.

    1. Good Helen

      Ms. K – that is a lovely reply from you and its replies like yours (although alot of others are amazing also) that i’m sure will Help Garreth through. For people to know that like you said, depression is a lifetime illness is very true. I’ve battled personally since as far as i can remember, self harm, suisidal thoughts, boshed attempts that if i’m honest, really weren’t attempts. So being diagnosed with bi-polar now at the age of 37 hit home hard that it will be with me for life, and i’m sure Garreth knows this is also with him for life. Mindful techniques are a huge thing, I i personally believe that exercise and taking each day, and sometimes just each hour at a time is important. It is great to talk about things, and tell people, but also, I know doing that has moved me away from some people who i would have been close to – people say they understand, but alot of the time they don’t due to not knowing enough. I think Garreth is such an amazing person to actually put it out there, picture and all and show that it isnt something to be afraid of, but something to be tackled and dealt with.

  55. miriam

    sending a massive hug Garreth! I had to learn how to be good to myself,too. I believe that when ur open, and say things to help others, we can change the world. all the best! stay with us x

  56. Sonya Kelly

    Brave man – stay strong!
    Good that you are in fact helping others with mental health issues by telling them that it’s ok to go and seek help.

    You’re courages and deserve credit for facing your fears head on and dealing with them.

    Much love xx

    #mentalhealthawareness

  57. Lyn

    Brave beyond belief, you and everyone on here sharing their stories.

    A few of my family have tried taking their own lives and thankfully never succeeded. However; one of my best friends did. All of us were with her that night, she went away to do the toilet and never returned. She was so young and I now understand at the time she was going through a very hard time and with everything being so sugar coated with mental illness (especially 10 years ago) she never recieved any help and no-one knew any differentt. (I was 14 at the time)

    I’ve since grew to learn a lot about mental illness and for the last 6 years seen my Mum suffer badly from it. She’s never tried to take her own life, but she’s had the thoughts and she battles with herself everyday to try and stay positive.

    A lot of people don’t understand mental illness’ because it can’t be physically seen, but just because something isn’t seen doesn’t mean it’s not there. You don’t physically see ‘love’ floating about but you can feel it. People who suffer from mental illness feel the effects of it and battle most days with voices in their head telling them their not worth it. You might never understand mental illness but if you know someone who suffers from it, never judge them, listen to them & maybe offer a hug.

  58. Kate

    Thank you for being so open and honest Garreth, as someone who’s struggled with suicide ideation on and off since I was 18, (now i’m 24), I know how hard it is to find the strength to keep going. I commend you for being so thorough in explaining what it’s like, you’re so right, i don’t think anyone will understand unless they’ve been through it themselves. I wouldn’t even know how to describe suicide ideation. I completely agree with you that the guilt is one of the most difficult things to handle, I never got that far, most I took was a few pills….but I came extremely close to making a proper attempt. I don’t know what it was that stopped me. But that alone is enough to fill m e up with guilt for the pain it would have caused my family had I gone through with it and was successful.

    Well i know i’ve rambled a lot, but I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, that’s very brave and courageous of you. More and more people need to speak out about it though, as there is still stigma out there. I wish i felt comfortable enough to speak out about my past, I can only do it anonymously though. I can relate to just about everything you’ve said though.

    Anyway, thank you again so much for writing this and being so open and honest, and I’m glad that you’re still pushing through and living your life, its a struggle sometimes but it’s worth it :)

  59. d

    yeah the battle is real , we need to take back our power to choose ….In my experience if we feed a taught it lives if we starve a taught it dies…. and the voices in your head are fighting for your attention we have the power to choose however impossibly hard this seems its the truth …..

  60. Louise

    Through my teens I attempted suicide on many occasions until as the main overwhelming feeling I had was failure, failing my family, failing college, failing socially even failing at suicide I ended up running away from home instead. I’m glad I survived those times as I now have a good life and am getting married this year but I still struggle with suicidal thoughts. I’ll be driving home and be thinking if I just drive into that tree at full speed it’ll all be over all the feelings of despair and pain. I just hope I never end up back where I was as a teenager.

    Well Done for speaking out, I agree with your comments about Donal. Unless you have been there, that black pit that you just can’t crawl out of then you have no right to judge people who have felt that way.

  61. Garreth MacNamee

    Never did I think that by posting this message I would receive such a massive response.
    I want to say thanks to every single commenter out there, even the ones who fancied having a pop.
    I’ve received hundreds of messages on Facebook/Twitter etc and the amount of people who opened up to me is staggering.
    Even close pals revealed how they suffer, friends of mine who I would have known for close to a decade.
    And I even say fair dues to those who had a go at me.
    Their ignorance to mental health should be the catalyst for all of us to continue speaking out.
    So long as there are people out there willing to have a pop, there will be those who try and educate them to the real perils of suicidal ideation.
    I’m gonna kick this “little prick’s” ass and beat this for a second time. It’s not easy but then again, nothing worth doing is a walk in the park.
    Hope you’re all well.
    Take her handy,
    Gar

    1. Sadface

      Thanks A million for writing this Garreth,I hope you feel better.
      I felt I was heading down that dark road again,just a little feeling in the back of my mind.this post and the excellent comments have really helped.Councelling worked well for me,giving me the tools to recognise signs of an oncoming bout and helping me avoid it so to speak.. But sometimes it catches you out..
      Thanks a again.

  62. joanne Burke

    So proud you should be of yourself for talking about your feelings n thoughts. Such a tough thing to do..stay strong n keep the faith. . Xxxxxx

  63. Friday

    It’s great to hear so many experiences of depression. I notice that a lot of people are saying they think depression is a life-long disease – I just wanted to say that hasn’t been my experience. Although depression runs in my family and I had it aged 15-21, I recovered from it totally and have never had a relapse in the many years since then, thankfully. I think people can be depression-prone, in the same way as they can have a predisposition to be diabetic or have heart disease, but once a person is recovered lifestyle factors can have a massive impact on whether or not they relapse. For example, while relapse is relatively common, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy reduces the risk by half.

    I don’t want to invalidate anyone else’s opinion, just posting my experience.

  64. sheila o malley

    Garreth,

    I am sorry to hear you are feeling this way. Doctor Tony Humphreys is someone I can recommend, recently a top sporting person wrote a blog about being on loads of medication and seeing Tony (a trip to Cork – but it is worth it!) and he is off all medication and this is years later. My father took his own life and I know it was not about him wanting to due, but about wanting to end the pain. Now I work in the area of wellbeing (I trained with Tony) and often young men I meet in workplaces tell me what has worked for them is a theraputic relationship and talking things out (like you did in your blog) and exercise seems to make a difference. To balance pleasing others with also pleasing yourself and to ask for and accept help. Please take great care, Warmest wishes, Sheila my site is sheilaomalley.ie where I have a number of articles about wellness. x

  65. Arian

    Garreth,

    Your post gave me goosebumps as it hit so close to home for me… I too went through what you are now experiencing and I too was infuriated at all of the reporting of “Brave Donal and his wonderful comments”. While I bear him no ill will and have only the utmost sympathy for both him and his family, I think in a way his comments only further confused the entire issue of depression. This is the first time I have heard anyone else say that his comments annoyed them and I’m glad to finally hear other people feeling as frustrated as I did with the lack of understanding about how being depressed really feels.

    If you are depressed then as much as you want to live your life, it can be completely impossible. Its like living a life in grey … even the fun things bring no joy… despite you knowing that they are fun.
    I truly believe in order to understand depression you have to have experienced it. Telling someone who has depression that “Live is for Living” is like telling someone in a wheelchair they should give walking a shot….

    When I was in the depths of depression it became almost a physical thing. The only way I can describe it is similar to the morning after a heavy night out drinking.. when you first wake up and wait a few seconds to see if you have a hangover or not :-) I would wake up every morning and lie in bed for a few seconds to see if today was going to be a bad day or not. Depression would then wash over me or it wouldn’t. If I felt the wave rush over me it was crippling.. debilitating…. I would go back under the covers and retreat for the day. I missed work, pushed friends away and cried and cried over the horrifying pain of being so sad but not knowing why.
    It was horrific and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Even now 8 years later just thinking about how low I was makes me get emotional.

    I feel for you Gareth, I know how awful it is.. and I know how hard it is to slip back into it when you think you might be getting better.
    But I love that you wrote this, because it means you are fighting back and that is the best thing you can do for yourself.
    Be strong and you will recover. You deserve to believe you are the great person you so clearly are.

  66. Andi F

    Hi Garreth. Thanks for your very honest article. I know how you feel, but very thankfully am not feeling the way you are at the moment. I dont know how I have survived (actually I do), and reading your article makes me feel a sense of relative relief and fear simultaneously, as I know too well what you are feeling at this moment.. but is only cued by articles like yours. The last time I felt suicidal was about 8 months ago. I wouldnt dream of doing it now, but know what not to do as well as what to do in order to avoid this dark place again.

    Exercise, company of others, good diet, good sleep, professional help.

    Professional help I cannot advise strongly ehough, as when u are desperate you will believe or want to believe anything. And there are many out there who think that they know the answers, yet havent a clue nor the qualifications and experience to deal with what you are up against.

    If you drink alcohol, I would strongly recommend you never drink it again. IF you isolate, I would remind you that this is the foundation of believing your own madness to be true, while in reality it is not. After that, all i can do is wish you the very best, and remind you to not pile on any stress on your life that may add to your burden. We are very hard on ourselves sometimes.

    I am currently back at college, doing an MA, it is unfinished business from a lifetime ago, when I was genuinely so ill I couldnt finish it. But I will this time, and even if I become ill again, which is very likely to happen btw, I will be as ready for it as I can ever be. Get well soon.

  67. Ditsy

    Garreth,
    I have lived with depression for the past 16 years, diagnosed when I was only 7. I have always wanted to put my experiences out there but I never knew how to go about it or how people would respond. While reading your story I felt like I was reading about my own feelings, for the most part. Your article does depression much justice and I hope it will further crack the surrounding stigma.

    It is so nice to really know that there is somebody else in the same position as myself, and not just being told “you are not the only one”. You should know that your story has made my day and given be the boost that I needed to carry on through this week.

    I wish you all the best in the future. One day at a time.

  68. Ms. K

    Friday: perhaps I shouldn’t assume depression is a life-long thing. I don’t mean to be pessimistic by saying that. I think it’s definitely possible to beat depression.

    Either way, best of luck to Garreth and those like him out there who are struggling. Be kind to yourselves and remember that we are not defined by our thoughts.

  69. Name

    Last year was a complete disaster for me. I won’t go into it all, I’m an extreme version of depressed. I’m not that old. I don’t have any friends because I lost contact with them and I don’t go out at all really. I have to do something this year and this will decide what happens next. I never posted a comment on this website before.

    1. Useless

      I wish I could give you a big hug, please talk to someone, there are people who love you, who care about you deeply and will help you. Life is so hard for some people .. it can be unfair and cruel and wonderful, don’t give up on it or on yourself , you write so eloquently of your pain, I feel for you, do not despair. you will make new friends, true friends

  70. Bob

    I have always had a hard time explaining the feeling to people who are ignorant and immature about depression. You can fight it and go through good times and yet its still there like a cold morning chill that u cant shake off. This post was perfect and brings new light to my life and I wanna thank you for that.

    Sidenote: ABM your so funny with a fake name behind your computer desk, noone wants to hear any shit that comes out of your mouth so go somewhere else. You ignorant gobshite why not grow a pair and let me know when we can meet up and you can say that comment to my face.

  71. Paddy B

    Fair dues. Strong thing to do and stronger again to recognise the danger signs. Will be thinking of you as you fight the battles that lie ahead and hope you can tap into that strength you evidently hold deep down somewhere. Fight hard and fight long. The battle can be won.

  72. S

    Garreth, I would just like to thank you for a truly inspirational passage. What a brave message you have just put across to us. I am so glad you are dispelling the stigma that is attached with mental health issues in Ireland. Wishing you all the best for what is sure to be a very bright future.

  73. Sinead Jackson

    Hi all,

    I’m currently going through something similar myself at the moment. I had to take time off college to try focus my attention fully on my mental health. It was a hard decision to make as I’m 25 and want to finish my degree. My family, my friends were disappointed that I was deferring a year but to me looking after my mental health is far more important. To anyone feeling pressured by other people when you are at such a low point in your life. Take time out and focus on getting better. I’m just working, going to the gym. I’m on anti depressants and I’m going to a counselor too. Its you that understands yourself better than anyone else. A lot of people like your friends, family won’t understand what’s going on or how it feels. So going to someone who does is so important!!!

    Hope this helps. xxx

  74. Name

    I had a dream or nightmare more like a few months ago, I was shot dead in it. I woke up feeling so sick about it all. And last year I was depressed that I forgot my birthday until 8 or 9 in the evening, my mind was so all over the place that I even forgot about my birthday for most of the day. There’s a big long story for how I ended up like this and I’ll never tell it because it hurts so much.

    I didn’t post a real email in the Email thing because I don’t want to be found or giving out my details.

    1. Name

      I’m so depressed at times that it effects my writing. I leave out words or mix up sentences. My mind is playing around with me. I have concentration problems. Look past this.

    2. Mikeyfex

      Give it a go, Name. it will not hurt to share it. It doesn’t have to be here, but share it with someone, face to face, or anonymously. It’s got to be better than keeping it in.

      1. Name

        Mikeyfex.
        I even look so depressed now. I look like a really troubled person now.
        And I’m not going to have a happy ending, there’s no happy ending for me.
        I never in a million years that I would end up like this. I’m even shocked at what I’ve become.
        I was a happy-go-lucky person in general in school and then at 17 or 18 I changed forever.

        1. Name

          I never in a million years THOUGHT that I would end up like this.

          I’m off. I’m not well at all. The pain and hurt inside me is incredible. I can’t believe I made it this far and who knows where I’ll be in the next few years. It’s very scary and lonely.

          1. Mikeyfex

            I can’t begin to understand what you’re going through. It seems to be really eating you up. I can’t offer advice from experience but there seems to be a 100% consensus that talking about things helps. Please don’t rule that out to accept life as it is at the moment. I’m sure you’ve read what others have said on here so try to take some hope from them.

          2. Sinead Jackson

            Name,

            I can’t say I know exactly what your going through because everyone has something unique and different going on inside their head.
            I too feel so eaten up inside..I can’t sleep, eat or concentrate at all. Most days, I wake up at 4 in the afternoon and try get my life back together. TRY!!! Its the toughest thing you could ever do but try get up and go talk to someone. It helps so much just to sit there with someone that doesn’t know you or doesn’t have any judgement of you and talk it all out. At least go once and see.

            Let me know how you get on and hopefully it makes something feel a small bit better.

  75. Dizzicizzi

    Well done for speaking out. I myself have a mental illness and have frequented the secure psychiatric facility after attempts on my life. It is hard for anyone to understand unless they have been there. No one can imagine the guilt and the shame that you carry around for the rest of your life. It hurts like nothing else and there is nothing you can do to take it all back. I have coped by turning it around and take part in mental health groups as a volunteer to try and help people going through similar situations. I feel like if I help one person avoid what I went through, then the experience will have been worthwhile.

    I have recently felt the sting of depression rising in the background again, but like yourself am standing and waiting to fight the monster in my head. I am better prepared now, but by no means invincible. I can’t do it alone, but with others supporting me, I can give it a good go. Remember that if you do fall down again, if you do end up in hospital, if you do have a set back and get knocked down. You have not failed. You can only do your best.

    Thank you for speaking out and breaking the silence. Mental illness is a real illness. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s all fake. You can’t see heart disease, you can’t see diabetes, you can’t see epilepsy, you can’t see depression and mental illness, but they are all just as real as the other.

    Get well very soon. I am rooting for you.

  76. Cdc

    Wow. Well done. I feel educated about a subject I could never understand before reading this. You have a lot to contribute to this world.. This article being one example. Never forget that

  77. kim moore

    Hi Garreth, I believe you have taken the first step in kicking this illness once and for all..by writing this piece. You are confronting it and showing it you ARE the Stronger One! I wish you all the best with the rest of your great life…a life I believe will be filled with joy, love and laughter x

  78. Kate

    Garreth, as the wife of a clinically depressed man, I am so pleased to see that you realise that catching the triggers is half the battle. To be able to do this is really positive. I can see my husband starting to ‘go’ and he now knows his ‘triggers’ and we can now arrest them and get some help whether through counselling or from doctors….and life gets better again. I know it must be intensely frustrating for you when people tell you to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘be grateful for what you have got’; I know that’s not how your condition ‘works’ and if I know that (not suffering depression or suicidal ideation) then I hope you can take some heart from this that others will too and it is not only people who suffer from your condition who understand your impulses or thought processes.

    Know that you are a very considerate, intelligent, handsome and unique young man. You have much to give this world. You can beat your demons; the strength of the human spirit can astound. (This is not a glib comment but spoken from my own gut wrenchingly awful experience of losing five babies one after the other. My heart is broken but somehow I have found purpose and joy in living) Hope springs eternal.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings and experience; you have probably helped more people than you can imagine.

    Good luck on your journey through life my friend.

    Kate

  79. Noel

    Garreth,

    Fair play to you for having the strength to write this. Your story reminds me so much of my late brother.
    It’s ok not to be ok and, it is absolutely ok to ask for help. If you like cycling or think you might like to try it check out cycleagainstsuicide.com and I might see you some day in April/May along with about 7,500 other people, good, kind, caring, people. I did one day last year and hope to do the 14 days this year.

  80. ian stewart

    Hi Garreth
    I can fully understand your pain and it is a very similar story to how I felt a few years back. I remember standing outside a doctors after about 2 months of sleepless nights, seeing a bus coming and stepping out. The only reason I stepped back was because I couldn’t deal with what it would do to my family, especially my mother who already lost her brother to suicide.
    Thankfully I have been able to exorcise the demons within, well at least keep them contained as much as possible. They will never go but I take solace from the fact that I have been to the bottom of the pit and crawled out and anytime that I feel myself slipping, I take resolve from that fact and use it as a tool to drag myself up.
    The one thing that I have learned is that alcohol is not an answer, it is the worst thing you can do. A good diet with healthy natural food along with a good active sports life does absolute wonders. I cannot stress how beneficial both of the aforementioned are and some days when I feel really down and I really can’t muster the energy to go training, I just force myself and my friends and training partners engage with me and it helps pull me out. Thats the other key point to dealing with this disease, you need your friends and family and they need to understand that this is an illness and not just a feeling.
    I really hope that you deal with this and if you need to bounce anything off, you have my email address and I would be only to happy to talk to you if you should need the ear of somebody who knows what you are feeling.

  81. Rose

    Fair play Garreth. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I can definitely say this story will help a lot of people to get to grips with their mental health issues and overcome them. It is only by being open and sharing that will help solve these issues. I admire your honesty, courage and determination. Best of luck.

  82. A1

    They say isolation is the seeds for depression, and I think isolation and loneliness
    are causing a huge rise in depression. There is too much time spent on computers and other technology and not enough face to face contact. People need to be kinder to others, meet up with their friends, and always have time be a true friend. Anyone can feel low anytime. Animal therapy is a huge help, as pets are loyal companions and don’t judge. They really relieve stress, which can often make depression worse.

  83. Aneres

    This article is thought provoking for all who read it. My best friend has suffered from depression for 30 years or so and I always know when it is setting in. My husband also suffers somewhat and I always know when it is setting in. My sister also suffers occasionally because of her great loss.
    I have thoughts like yours all the time and noone knows or notices. I am the happy one, most times smiling, always there to talk to, to lean on, to counsel in times of need. One who shouldn’t, thinks “sure what has she to be unhappy about”. I know they do because they keep telling me indirectly how lucky I am.
    They do not see inside my head. I do.

  84. Dawn

    I just want to tell you that I have the height of respect for you for writing that piece. I wish you all the best. Dawn.

  85. Feargal

    I think you are a really brave guy to have the courage to write this story….fair play and ignore all the negative comments from those dickheads above….not everyone understands…..some people think they are perfect….heads up my man and keep er lit…..

  86. Jess

    I read the line about living a half life and nearly hyperventilated, it’s my life in one sentence! Great piece!

  87. linda

    The amount of comments made after this post speaks volumes…it may be clichéd but people need to start talking! So many people are struggling everyday. To speak so honestly and from the heart shows amazing bravery. We all distract ourselves with bullshit and try to ignore how we feel but the feelings don’t go away. I hope that his post inspires others to get help.

  88. Simon Q

    Fair play to you for writing this. People say that writing something like this takes a lot of guts and they are right, but I think that the truth will set you free and the problem in society is that everyone is so bloody scared of saying what they really think and feel.

    It’s funny isn’t it in a way that you’re a good looking bloke with a great life compared to lots of unfortunate souls in the world some of which don’t even have clean drinking water and yet life can be so miserable. But thats’ because your sick. Instead of your back aching in pain or your eye sight or hearing being poor, there’s something going wrong inside your brain and the outcome is in a way a pain or disability just manifest in terrible thoughts that are incredibly difficult to shake. Being unable to concentrate or think clearly. It’s very terrible to have a mental illness, I’ve seen it first hand.

    I hope you are on the up and up and you never go that low again. Catch it in time like you said you have this time around and seek the help you need. I know people who have been where you are and have come to a better place now, so it can happen, you just have to know how, you just need the support from people that know how too.

  89. Giz

    Hey Man,
    You put this better than I ever could. I nearly killed myself a few months before I turned 21, back in 2002.. And sometimes it still rears it’s ugly head – even now.. But you can beat it, you’re already doing better than many other people do – you’re seeking help, you’re willing to fight. And in 10 years time you’ll be the one writing something like this to someone else.

    Hang in there – you’re doing ok, no matter how much you may be trying to convince yourself you’re not :)

  90. Kevin

    good luck buddy, you’re halfway there by seeking to get help for it, you will beat it because its just a mindset, yes its a difficult one, but you will overcome it. Just start by enjoying the simple things, never take life too seriously, go for relaxing activities such as swimming and keep yourself busy and active. Always have a sense of humour because its something that can play to your advantage in a dark situation, lighten it up with your humour. Don’t feel down because you have depression, we’ve all experienced it at stages, be positive now and happiness will be back with you before you know it :)

  91. Jennifer Mulqueen

    Hi Gareth,
    a very open honest and real article. Fair play to you.that takes courage. From that courage you have hope Im hearing,as your not gonna let there negative thoughts win .
    Once you have hope, you will find that inner peace and happiness. Trust mee You can FIGHT this, HOPE is one of the biggest steps on to your path of the positivity. You don’t really want your family and friends to go through the real heartache and pain of loosing you.Keep up the talking and have hope and have faith that you will get through this.all the best wit your mental health, god bless xx

  92. Sinead D

    Gareth you are an inspiration, good luck and I hope you go on to live a long & happy life …

  93. CM Hennessy

    I was struck by your open-eyed, honest, handsome face.

    I am a heck of a lot older than you and remember thinking similar stuff when I was about twenty and appeared way back then to have it all. Great job, new car, own apartment (unheard of really back then). But I also recall driving to a fashion show for the local hockey club where I was modelling and thinking will I put the foot down hard on the accelerator or will I wait until the evening is over. Likewise is was that constant nagging feeling of never being good enough.

    I excelled in my job over many years but that nagging prick as you call him – came back and like you I also drank. I did a term in John O’ Gods – twice in fact.

    I no longer drink and I find it certainly helps keep the “prick” at bay. I try to take one step, one hour, one day at a time. Sometimes its just to put one foot in front of the other.

    I am now in college full-time – unthought-of for me in the past. I find the younger people great, I smile, laugh and sometimes feel like tearing my hair out. I watch dumb things on tv that make me smile from MASH to Vicar of Dibley, I ride horses again, walk the hound and sometimes just take time out and sit quietly without feeling guilty.

    I so admire your courage in speaking out and so eloquently (love the “prick” description) will certainly keep that one in mind!

    I so wish you well in life. You deserve the best.

    Before I log off I was given a good comment one day when rather bruised about a situation and feeling that “P” starting to niggle. “Rejection is Gods protection of us” so be it a guy, a job I didn’t get, a dress that didn’t fit, a family member who is rude or ignores, a so-called friend who is nasty all of who rejected us in some way – I think of being wrapped in a big warm cloak belonging to God, Allah or whoever you believe in and rocks your own particular boat. I a being protected away from them or it!

    Stay safe.

  94. Anne Antoniotti

    You should be very proud of yourself for speaking out, look after yourself and stay strong, take every day as it comes, give yourself le positive thought every day. God bless you and keep you strong. Best of luck. Anne xxx

  95. Catherine

    Thanks Garreth. You write from your heart, keep speaking your truth. I’m sharing with my young men who have lost a friend recently to suicide. Many many more need to hear and listen. Thanks again.

  96. Mike

    You are a good guy Gareth. Thanks for sharing. I am in my 60s and suffered from various bouts of depression thru my lifetime. I was hospitalised in 2005 and thankfully found the medication that suited me. I haven’t looked back since. You too will get over this and come out the other side all the stronger. I will say a little prayer for you and your Mum.

  97. Eric

    Thanks for sharing Garreth, strong man, great words to help not only yourself but so many others!!

  98. Audrey

    Hey Garreth, you are doing great, you know you are just by posting this. This feeling you have will pass and you know that, you have been here before and come out the other side. We will see you on the other(brighter) side, wishing you all the best :)

  99. Denny

    Hi Garreth, Thank you for speaking so openly and honestly. Depression is crippling and can effect people from any walk of life. I suffer depression which started 3 years ago. My first bout crept up in the form of terrible anxiety at first and having no experience of it I didn’t know what was happening to me except that I lost all hope, had no concentration, endless sleepless nights and had no interest in anything or anybody. A visit to my doctor confirmed what I had dreaded hearing,but that visit to my doctor has saved me and with the help of medication and a supportive family and friends, I began to get back to the person I was before- happy and positive! A year later I weened myself off the tablets as I didn’t want to be dependant and I was feeling great but unfortunately 6 months down the line depression visited my door again with the same old feelings-so back to the docs again! Since then I’m back to top. Second time round I felt a failure that I couldn’t beat it and that was hard as I’m such a strong fun loving person generally. But I had to put my pride to one side and just thank god for the help that is out there. My doctor explained that if I came in with any other illness I would be given a prescription and that our minds can get sick.(I was also advised of other things to help as well) That simple explanation may not suit everyone but for me those words were a great comfort as I was feeling bad enough about my condition…so my advice to anyone feeling like I did, there is help out there and I am now living a full and happy life again. I have had to change my own attitude and say to myself ‘so what If I have to take a pill each day’ at least I’m living my life, I can hold down my job and plan a future. I’m under no illusion that in my case this is probably something I will have to battle long term- but it’s important to spot the signs early and seek the help. Good luck Garreth and others that are battling- we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. And thanks for sharing your story Garreth, I would never have shared my story had I not read yours.

  100. Ciara

    Hello brave soul. I have been where you are many times as I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder. I am still here on this mortal coil …this is because suicidal ideation, an unrecognised illness ,takes over but I found eventually passes. Saying out loud to someone seems to stop the active ( thinking of methods ) suicidal ideation for me for some reason. Did it help ease the strength of your ideation by going public… I hope so. Does or did it feel like someone else is driving the bus? You can email me if you want to talk further. Ps now I have never been so well ( nearly 10 months)or in love with life… i can tell u what I did.

  101. rachel

    My brothers best friend killed himself In 2012 it was the biggest shock of our lives he was always laughing joking smiling he was a great singer and played guitar paino drums you name it he played it he had such a talent it still hurts when I think on him, but I guess you never really know what’s really going on in someone’s head I just wish he asked for help, I’m glad you shared your story and hope other people share theirs as well we need 2 rise more awareness about this illness.

  102. Aoife McG

    Garretth, that voice in your head telling you you’re a prick is an idiot – I know the feeling I have my own one. But someone who can write that eloquently about how difficult it gets is a worthwhile, intelligent, brave person. I’m so glad you’ve started to recognise the signs when things are going to get bad, it’s one of the most important skills anyone with depression needs to learn. It’s a cliche but I truly mean it when I say stay strong – it’s never easy but it’s worth it xx

  103. Ashling

    Garreth you are an inspiration.. I wish you the best in life and thank you so much for sharing this. Keep doing what you are doing.

  104. kate

    Such a priviledge to read such an honest account of your struggle. I recognise a lot and am lucky enough to find my self in a position of awareness and not being afraid today. Be as kind to yourself as possible and read your account when it all gets too much, there are encouraging and enlightening paths to follow that you have set out yourself. take care.x

  105. Sharon

    Gareth no words just powerful and honesty amazing, I’m 26 at 23 I suffered with depression tried to take my own life, didn’t talk about it cause I was embarrassed, it led to me having an alcohol and drug addiction I still wanted to take my own life, I went in2 resend entail treatment 1yr ago an am clean since I still struggle on a day to day basis I hid it from friends and family and was ashamed for what it lead too for me, but the best thing I ever done was asked for help I couldn’t have got where I am today without putting my hand out and asking for help, now it speak openly to everyone about my depression, and my addiction it’s nothing to be ashamed of and I wish u all the best such a good strong honest message too carry

  106. Rob

    Fair play to you fella. I’ve never been where you are, but I’m glad you seem like you’re identifying the old traps and trying your damndest to address them with whatever help you need. That must be a huge step in and of itself. I wish you all the best.

  107. andy moore

    Keep the good side out & try to see better days ahead !! As one who has inhabited those dark spaces, I find gardening a great help, just observing new growth within plantlife & nature is probably one of the things which keep me alive !!! best of luck !!

  108. roisin

    Honest, beautiful words. I work with people who are dealing with their mental health problems, and have had some issues myself over the years. I think we have come some way towards a greater acceptance that mental health is as real and important as physical health, but we still have quite a way to go to eradicate the “stigma”. I have huge respect for Garreth, and for all of you who have shared your own experiences. Much love x

  109. Seamo

    heyo Gareth!
    I know where your coming from. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the film groundhog day. if you haven’t do, if you have watch it again. After maybe ten+ years of battling depression, and I hope gradually starting to see a future for myself, a counsellor mentioned it to me. i’d seen it before and really liked it, but watching it again now, I realised it wasn’t just a fluffy, quirky comedy, it was basically my life. I been through pretty much all the situations bill murrays character been in: bewilderment, despair, recklessness, trying to act a character ,figure out what I thought was expected of me, and yet I kept finding myself back at square one like a cruel game of snakes and ladders. I know its hard maybe not possible when your really down to see it, but all the travails you been through are teaching you (very hard) lessons about yourself. THERE IS A FUTURE! When you DO turn the corner, you will realise as painful as it was you had to go through what you went through to finally become your true self. Growing up, in order to fit in, we take on various roles. they work well for a time, but eventually they become constrictive, like wearing your primary school uniform when your an adult. Seriously ask yourself what you wanted to be/do when you were still a child, no matter how silly it may seem now. it is possible to move in those directions, slowly, and in doing become fulfilled as an adult. this aint copy and pasted outa a self-help book, but discovered through lived experience. I am confidant you will reach where you are supposed to be, your courage in writing this indicates you can overcome. hope this helps a little.keep the faith bro!

  110. Karen

    I’ve been there , 12 months ago depression hit me so badly that I attempted suicide, spent time in a psychiatric ward, spent a year trying so many different types of anti depressants , all of which had such severe side effects that I could barely function on a day to day basis. I am full of guilt for what I put my family through and I see my therapist every week . 1 year ago I could never have imagined that I would enjoy life again but I do. Im just a normal 33 year old married mom of 2 small kids from a close family who never had any type of problems so I used ask myself why did depression take over me….I still don’t know the answer to that question and may never . But as I said I was there at death door and now I’m here starting to live again . I hope you too find happiness and start to feel alive. I think you are an amazing person to write and share such raw honesty and keep strong

  111. Sharron Hughes

    Thank you for being a voice for many who do not have the strength or the ability to articulate so clearly what IT feels like. I applaud you for your sensitivity and understanding and for being so strong. You are a kindred spirit and clearly your voice needs to be heard. Be strong my friend. You truly are a special person. Xxx

  112. Always Wright

    Garreth, I’m impressed by your eloquence and courage. I really hope you take the positive feedback from this and use it as impetus to seek the help and support you deserve.

    On another note… has anybody noticed anything odd about the comments on this article? A sudden proliferation of txt-speak, a strange similarity between some of the new arrivals? Lorraine Murphy, Jade, Deborah Meehan, Linda and a number of others in particular?

  113. Baby cakes

    Well done and what an amazingly written expression! You’re much stronger than you give yourself credit for. I wish you all the best and a really good year ahead. You will come through this x

  114. Lorie

    My aim here is not to look for sympathy but to try to maybe explain a little of what it feels like to me.

    I have suffered from depression for so long that I cannot even remember not having to deal with the shadow in my mind. I have attempted suicide before and at the moment I’m in a pretty bad headspace at the moment and I’m worried that something is going to tip me over the edge again.

    The shadow is always there. I’m not saying that I’m never happy, I can go for months at a time feeling just like what I think a “normal” person should feel. But the dark clouds always return. The cover up all the good parts. The things I normally love to do. My work suffers so badly, everyday (that i actually manage to leave the house that is) I go home shocked that they haven’t fired me yet. It covers my love for my family, my friends, my amazing boyfriend. It takes over to the point where I cant think about anything but it. I usually end up driving people away.

    And everything just hurts. Pain is all I feel. Hope feels impossible no matter what the tiny little logical voice in my head may tell me.

    But I don’t WANT to give into it. I really do try to fight every single day. Simply getting out of the house is an achievement most days. Reading the comments here has made me realise how many people actually suffer like I do. I am just another number to add to the list but I feel less alone now.

    Thank you x

  115. Carol

    Gareth,

    It has been a long time since I have read a story so honest and real. I am speechless, but just feel the need to write to you. Others have said it better, but you are a true inspiration – not just to people with depression, but to the so called ‘ordinary’ people; who haven’t been dealt challenges like this.

    Wishing you the very best of everything.

    Carol

  116. Conor

    Good man, Garreth. You were ahead of me in CBC and I remember the face though I never conversed with you. Be strong, Certa Bonus Certamen!

  117. Sally

    This is really brave. One of the voices that stops people from talking about their pain is the one that tells you you are weak if you even admit to having thoughts like yours, which, like many things in our heads, is a horrible lie.

    I’ve read a number of stories of near-death experiences of people who tried to kill themselves, and there is one that I will never forget. A girl found herself in what she called ‘the place of the suicides’. All around her were people who had tried to leave this world in the hope that they would find peace and be free of all the hopeless, life-draining voices in their heads. The horrible thing was that rather than be in a place of peace, not only could she hear her own thoughts; she could also hear the thoughts of every person around her. It wasn’t until she started to listen in on the man next to her that she began to understand his life and feel empathy, and the moment she felt that for him, she then found herself standing before God, who told her he was sending her back. She now finds ‘life’ in her ability to let others know that at least one person understands, and they are not alone.

    And that’s the thing about why this post is so amazing–it’s reaching out with understanding and lets others know that they are not alone with their thoughts, with their feelings, with their wishes for it all to be over.

    While the freedom to feel ‘okay’ with yourself and to feel like your life has value can be a struggle and many times needs a counsellor’s help. You have this breath of life in you for a reason. There is no one else on this earth with your smile, your laugh, your group of gifts and talents, your ability to make others’ lives better. If you leave this world, no one can take your place. Your piece of the jigsaw will be forever empty, and the gaping hole left in the hearts of all those people who care about you will never be perfectly filled.

    Get help, and if you have no way to do that, I’d be more than happy to talk. You can connect with me through my site morethanbreathing.com.

  118. Audrey White

    You are so brave my brother took his own life and it broke mine an my family’s heart.he was also a joker always a smile on his face ull get der don’t give up

  119. Kerrie Doyle

    Sending you strength! My husband and best friend took his own life sept 2010. Keep fighting the darkness you can take it x

  120. Ciara

    The voice criticising you by the way brave soul, is referred to as an internal bully and i cured mine 10 yrs ago by reading a book on cognitive behavioural therapy by Dr Paul Gilbert. Get the book it will help immensely. I have got well through good sleep management and diet exercise and weekly acupunture plus I read The ultramind solution by dr mark hyman. There were never life events or triggers I would just wake up depressed and with chronic fatigue. Dreadful but I think I have it under control. The problem is everyone is different. Good night brave soul. We are all thinking of u xxx

  121. lady A

    Thanks for writing this and I do hope you feel a little lighter for doing so and I do hope you read all the possitive notes following it. It should be shocking to see so many people with similar stories, but sadly its not. I too have a similar story having suffered unipolar depression since I was 12, random bouts of crying, not knowing why I was crying, hating myself, hating what I looked like, hated not being perfect, only doing things to make others happy, making decisions that would please others, it all took its toll and ultimately ended up in hospital for 6 months, it didnt make me better but gae me some tools to try and avoid the dreaded dark cloud when I can and gave me an “opt out” clause from life for 6 months, where I didnt really need to worry about very much as everyone knew I was in hospital and why, so the worst had happened, so couldnt really worry about much else!
    While in hospital I met so many amazing people who also happened to be very very ill, all of them good people and one thing they had in common was that they were kind and happy people and most of them were fun to be around, not what you would imagine from a mental hospital.
    I have seen your article shared by about 10 different people today and only got to read it now, Your story is so honest and we can all feel what you are going through right now, especially those of us that have been there. Well done on writing this and hopefully your words will touch someone else feeling as low as you right now that will encourage them to also seek help.
    Stay strong, stay being you, crazy is good, makes you interesting ;)

  122. Anonymous

    There seems to be stories like this posted every day. Always the same reasoning and contemplating. I definitely should be considered a skeptical, not in your shoes type of mind frame and I don’t intend on sounding rash or give an unintelligent opinion. Let’s just try define depression from a completely unbiased, simple point of you.

    Society. The unequivocal source of the problem. Let’s not get into a discussion about Ireland’s old fashioned mindframe. Or the “9 to 5” lifestyle that was developed and revolves around the religious ideals that were put in place however long ago to make people abide by the rules.. Or even the modern cultural expediencies that we all live with everyday.

    The problem is as simple as this….we don’t have to do what we’re told. Just because a shoe has a logo on it doesn’t mean it’s worth a third of your wages. The same can be said for the pressures society puts on all humans, but, worryingly more so on children that insists we all have the newest hair, the best complexion, the shiniest teeth etc.

    You said yourself….you have the job, the cards, the money, the women and you hate it all. Whose not to say that getting out of bed at 12pm and playing Xbox all day before going to the pub all night isn’t what would make you happy? Just because your Mother disapproves? Or you’re worried about the judgement from other people.

    Frankly I laugh at the fact that people worry so much about their appearance, who likes them, what people will think, how much they make, who’ll see the funny status they thought of earlier, whether people will like their new shoes.

    Let’s face it. You’re just a load of stardust, floating on a random lump through a universe so vast that we’ll never know what’s what. That alone is reason enough not to care about the spot on your chin, or whether your t shirt is expensive enough. Cheer up, man. Broaden your mind a bit. Stop caring about what other people think. Simple…

    1. Mr been there,

      Be strong Jen, don’t know you but i’m quiet sure your a diamond gem, don’t forget this one thing, for every negative moment/thought there are loads of positive ones and you know if they havn’t happented to you yet, just be patient, the 3 bus’s are on route , i promise.. x

  123. Lindsay

    Keep up the great work uve a lot going for you. My mum took her own life a few years back and the heartache she left behind wuz unreal even to this day. Keep fighting ur stronger than u think. X

  124. jb92

    Hey,
    I’ve been there. From the age of 16 my life just felt like it was goung downhill. Everything you’ve explained, I felt. But here I am, 21 years of age and I’ve beaten it. Sure it was hard and you still get down days but so does everyone. It can be done. You will not feel like that forever. I promise.
    It was a long, hard road but I got there. So can you :) x

  125. Gavin

    Fair play Garreth,

    That must have taken a serious amount of courage to write. I really hope that you continue to beat this illness.

  126. gin

    hi there
    i have read your story of how your life is for you and want to say thank you , sadly i lost my older brother now 23 years ago and it never made sense why . when he had his life , what we thought sorted but looking at it from someone else who was in the same place but still here to talk makes it a little easier to come to terms with. But i will say to you my family have lost some much with him gone he also missed out on loads all his nieces and nephews happy family times and some sad ones but we think of him always he would now be a grandad to a beautiful little girl he will never meet his son was 3 when he left us and is so like him to look at he will never really be gone .So think of all those you will leave behind all the things you will miss

  127. Jess Groomie

    Well said.
    I too have recently attempted suicide, and for weeks after i was determined to do it properly.
    I have worked hard on recovering and I am now working on a program to help people get through these hard times. I tried medication and therapy, but found that the most effective way for me to get better was to work on my self talk. We all have it and we all need to work on it. I believe that we are our own worst enemies and that once we fix our self talk we can lead amazingly happy lives.
    Please, please start being grateful for what you have and work on your self talk.
    You are an amazing human, so start acting like one. xx

  128. Mr been there,

    Powerful, honest and very important post by you Garreth, you might just have saved someone’s life by this thoughtful and kind speak, bravo and good luck to yee.

  129. Catherine

    I just want to say Thanks really..I’ve been finding life unbearable lately. A few months back i took an overdose but made it through. A lot of people have told me there are many others feeling the same way i do but I’m only really believe it now after reading this. your description about what it feel like is just the same as me and i don’t want any attention or sympathy i just want people to realise what it feels like…i hate feeling like this and I feel worse when i think about what’s going on..i want a fresh start hopefully i can get on track soon. Thank you for sharing it means more than you know. X

  130. Gillucy

    This popped up on my FB so I thought I’d read his story. Hope by speaking out u feel stronger and by the looks of things you’re not alone. I hope the Irish Minister for Health is reading it. It makes me wonder why so many young Irish people are feeling so depressed. I’ve been through a lot in my life – losing family members young to different cancers and I’ve felt very down after each death but I accept that this is life and we must carry on and things do get better. I’ve had countless sleepless nights when the rest of the world is sleeping but I can’t say that I was depressed which leads me to believe that Depression is an illness and needs treating. Don’t know that the right treatments are out there or available but at least u talking so openly about it seems to be helping others in the same situation. I just hope you all feel stronger soon. God bless u all.

  131. Eric Fitzpatrick

    Very well articulated, roberta flack springs to mind, keep up the good fight, the voice of the voiceless, good man you.

  132. Éimear

    absolutely incredible. you don’t realise how many people you will and have saved by writing this. hopefully including yourself. you’re an amazing man with an amazing life ahead of you.

    peace, love and faith xxx

  133. M

    Well said Garreth,i truly understand were your coming from,i have attempeted suicide a few times,but failed,woke up in hospital so angry for not succeding,there are so many people who are ignorant to the illness,i understand this because they can’t see inside our heads so they can’t see what’s wrong with us.I am 49years old,have suffered this illness for 25years or more,don’t remember what it feels like even to be relaxed,can’t face reality im sedated all the time,its the only way i can get through day by day,its a horrible illness,i wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,stay strong Gareth and thanks for sharing x

  134. Philip

    Garreth,
    as an x john of gods patient, x depressed individual, x near suicide victim i empathise with your suffering … there is/can be most definitely light at the end of the tunnel and i am so grateful and blessed to have found it … now i’m fifty and life is honestly better than ever … wishing you well … keep hope alive … its worth it … maybe this link i recently saw can be of help … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc

  135. john

    Sometimes i feel exactly the same, i care about evryone and i always look out for people. I’m nice to everyone regardless of who they are, but i just feel so worthless, and most of the time i forget, but when i remember i really break down. And i can’t even talk to anyone because i’ve always kept it inside me that i can’t even share with the people that are close to me. i will be fine tomorrow and go about my day, but it will catch me again, another time, and again and it just really hurts :(

  136. I am

    Hi,

    Thank you for sharing it with us. I believe we learn to strive for things like financial success, marriage, children etc, and sometimes we strive to achieve these things not because we want to but because it’s what society things we should have. But some times our path may be very different from the one set by society. Yet we tend to ignore ourselves and submit to the values and ideas of others. Naturally life becomes a struggle, we live our own life’s on the terms of sbd else. Our soul and heart is free to choose and it’s our ” job” to honour our own desires. I find its the hardest thing to give up ideas of others and follow your own path. I suppose deep down it feels as if we’re letting our family and others down by choosing to follow our path and be who we are which might differ from what they would like or expect us to be.
    I find your story inspiring ! Follow your bliss!
    S

    1. I am

      We fear of letting down people who are close to us by not living up to their expectations (or what we think they expect of us) but in reality the only ones we do let down are only ourselves!

  137. Matt

    Hey Garreth you cannot be credited enough for the bravery you’ve shown by writing this article. It’s a very well-written, powerful piece. I studied Journalism as well, and I think you’ve encapsulated what suffering from depression is like for many people, myself included.

    “This fall I think you’re riding for – it’s a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement’s designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. +++++++++++++++++ Or they thought their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started.” +++++++++++++++++++

    – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.

  138. just me

    Thankyou garreth.I don’t know what else to say,not on the bright side tonight,but so happy i saw all the comments.

  139. Jennifer

    I think it needs to be highlighted that depression can hit at any time. Even when there is no apparent reason. I think it’s something that people often don’t realise. I know I didn’t. Wishing you all the best Garreth.

  140. Jennifer

    I think it needs to be highlighted that depression can hit at any time. Even when there is no apparent reason. I think it’s something that people often don’t realise. I know I didn’t. Wishing you all the best Garreth.

  141. Layla

    Keep strong, never, ever, ever loose hope! This is what the devil wants – that voice in your head needs to be drowned out by remembering all the blessings and goodness that God has given you – throw the bottle away. Remember the unfortunate people around you, visit the homeless and share your love with them and go for a run in the park, enjoy an autumn day picnic, a swim at the beach. Don’t stay alone, be around people with faith, happy, genuine people, join a Sufi circle and sit in a Mosque/Synagogue/Church and absorb the light of Abrahamic faiths). When you sit alone and drink the devil has direct access to you and attacks mercilessly so stay close to people of light. The power of light over darkness is such that your soul will find peace again. You are in my prayers.Salam
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJkV9jzysBU

  142. Ser

    if you feel like this….send me a message on fb Ser McGrrell. I got some tips that MAY help…..either way i wish you luck, i’ll be thinking of ya, you are a trooper and can do this…n make life good!! xxxxxx

  143. Young man

    To be honest I feel those low times when everything becomes to much. For coming out and telling your story is brave and I say well done because it has helped me see that I am not alone with these feelings. It is scary to express it. Even writing this comment for me it has been hard to write.

  144. DawnJ

    You’re story is truly inspirational & honest. I always thought I understood mental illness & depression but it wasn’t until I lost my 25 yr old son to suicide on Aug. 24,2011, that I really understood. If the pain that I feel is only a tiny bit of what he & you have struggled with, I can’t begin to imagine the suffering you & he have endured. I can say I do know what it feels like to not want to go on & in the wake of my loss every day is a struggle & I now play the “wear the smile” game on days when I’ve had to convince myself to get out of bed but still I know this is merely a fraction of your pain.
    I hope you continue on your journey & perhaps you’ll have more & more days that the mountains are small road bumps to glide over. My heart goes out to you & I’m so thankful you have your family & friends to help you along. Always remember, you may feel your struggles are a burden to others but I can speak from experience that I’d give anything to have that “burden” back. A part of me died that day & I’m learning to live a different life without my beautiful, loving, funny, smart son. Keep sharing your story, it’s healing. Best…

  145. mk

    Know how ur feeling and be en there am still there ,as u say ur the joker make other people laugh and feel happy but u feel dif its how i am i put on a differnt face around other people and inside i am wreaked and when go home its just the drink and u and dark times ..but thank you for telling ur story iv got lot out it thanks ..Keep smiling ..

  146. Linda Cairns

    How brave. I cant help but keep re-reading your msg. Hope all these messages of support will get u through some of your difficult days. None of us will ever know when we will be struck by the evil that is mental health. Im so glad u are making your experience a topic that we can and should talk about. I am a cardiac nurse and I cant tell u how frustrating it is to “fix” that blocked artery, or give someone a mechanical pacemaker if their own heart fails….if only the mind was just as easy to “fix.” It is so shameful that even in these times our health services treat only from the neck down instead of the neck up. Much love xx

  147. Always on the outside looking in

    HI Garreth,

    When I read that it felt like I was reading out of my own journal. I have many demons inside of me which I am constantly trying to battle. My story is similar, I am young, well 25 which I think is old and I have the same character and for the person I think I am have been very successful in my life endeavours so far, but that voice still remains inside my head.

    Sometimes its whispering and sometimes shouting, I have come to the realisation it will always be there but I will not let it concur me. I want to constantly prove it wrong but when I feel like its taking over I get scared and seek immediate resolution and strive for goals and affection which I crave, to calm the beast.

    I am forever analysing my relationships with my loved one’s, friends, family, boyfriends and see on the outside that there is a reason they all love me even though I think that they shouldn’t. I still now and again envy those who do not carry this burden on the conscious.

    It is a comfort to know even though this may sound bad, that I’m not alone..

    Thank you for sharing your story, it has given me courage and inspiration to carry on.

  148. Martin Larkham

    I believe God has a purpose and a plan and through your post, which is an amazingly helpful post many lives will be changed. Bless you all.

  149. Smmb

    I sat holding a friend in St Pats for a long time after an attempt. I worry about her every day, I’m that annoying friend that asks her to text me..but as time goes on and she continues to talk about how she feels I know now she’s found the good place and she’s able to step away from that voice when it happens.

    You are an inspiring man to speak up, to recognise what is happening and I wish you nothing but the best on your road to recovery. Keep talking, keep talking. And good luck.

  150. Anonymous

    Garrett keep fighting – you say yourself that knowing you feel bad is half the battle. Learning to live with it and keep it down IS beating it, and you’ve come so far in that battle. I’ve been some small way along your road, and it’s a hard battle to fight but we have it in us to do it.

    Nobody’s perfect, everybody has that voice in their head. Accepting that fact is a huge part of the battle. People are worrying about you not only because you’re “the guy who tried to kill yourself” but because they care so much for you. One day – one hour – at a time and hang in there. And keep speaking out. Irish society needs to stop being afraid of mental health problems. They are not the stigma that they were to the generations before us. We know better.

  151. Samantha

    I read your piece a couple of times before I felt any empathy for you. Its hard to feel sympathy for someone who is selfish. Harsh words but I was in a similar situation myself 10 years ago when I was 27 and tried to kill myself. I was obsessed with suicide, thinking it was a “quick fix” for my problems (social isolation, struggling with my job and a sense that I was stupid, ugly, worthless and a burden). My self esteem and mood was very low and I believed that my family would be better off if I was dead.
    There are no quick fixes in this life. If you’re feeling suicidal; it means that something in your life is wrong or you’re doing something wrong. You have to have a big think about what’s wrong. Are you too hard on yourself? Are you not working hard enough? Are you expecting too much from yourself or others? Are your expectations reasonable? Whatever it is, you gotta find out what it is and work hard to overcome it. I only stayed in hospital a week. I was let out because I was determined to get back to normal and the doctors believed I could do it. I had to give up my job because the stress of my job was a trigger and start again from rock bottom. I am back at my old job now and because I had to fight so hard to crawl my way back up, I really do appreciate it now. I appreciate everything now. I wasted a lot of years moping around, feeling sorry for myself but at least I have got sense now.

  152. Mel Padden

    You just brought me to tears. I’m in exactly that place, but a good deal older, and the despair of being constantly in the cycle of boom and bust has basically destroyed my faith in a mentally healthy future. Change is a privilege when you’re young, but if you make too many mistakes you screw yourself out of the opportunites in the now, trying to fix what can’t ever be fixed (the past). But te temptation to try and fix it is greater than your will. The best I can hope for now is to manage it, eat right, stay off the booze, meditate daily and be mindful. And acceptance is hard. Hardest thing in the world, sometimes.

    Well done on speaking out.

    1. Mary

      Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you all the best of luck. I lost my 15 year old daughter to suicide which I didn’t and probably still don’t understand to this day but I am learning the whole time. I am trying to make sense of what happened which I know I never will but reading a story like yours gives me more understanding of possible “whys”. I really liked these words of yours:
      “Suicidal ideation, to many, is a terminal illness and something which can’t be fought with medication.
      If you’re set on taking your life, then you’re going to do it. But there are support structures out there designed to pull you from the brink It’s in no way black and white.

      You don’t see how much you’re loved, you don’t see the pain and hardship it would cause your family.”
      Suicide is NOT a choice, it is an illness.

  153. Pat

    Garreth, I’ve been there.
    I am 44 years old and have fought with depression all my life. It started as a teenager and comes in waves every now and then. Please read this message and let it soak in.

    I understand the negative feelings that can be triggered by even the most innocent comment or thought. it builds inside us and if allowed it will convince us that our families, friends and the world will be a better place without us.
    Then it lifts, we find it easier to cope and we find it difficult to understand how we ever felt so negative about ourselves.
    I have been an over achiever all my life. I became self employed at 18 and by the time I was 29 I was employing nearly 200 people. I was never truly happy. I would have waves of extreme happiness and then waves of extreme sadness.
    I find it difficult to accept the evil in this world and I have great compassion for those that suffer.
    My first marriage ended and in fairness we shouldn’t have married in the first place but my ex got pregnant and was planning an abortion. To save our baby I agreed to marry her.
    Then I met a great girl, I love her so much and we have been together for 18 years now. She does not understand depression but she gives me space when I need it. And sometimes I do need it.

    During this recession my business failed but it does not really bother me as I achieved everything that I needed and found wealth an empty experience. I am poor now but thats fine.

    My message to you is this Garreth, we are complex people and how can other people understand us when we struggle to understand our selves. It does get easier, I promise.

    It gets easier because we feel the warning signs approaching and over time we recognise the pattern. Then it becomes easier to know that great saying ‘this too will pass’.

    This saying has saved my life as when we have slipped into the dark pit, it is difficult to see a future where we smile again. As you get older you will realise that even when you feel worthless, you are loved. when you are hopeless, this too will pass.

    Get well my friend and remember that the world needs sensitive souls as well as confident ones. We are the ones who recoil in horror at mans capability for depravity. We are the ones who notice suffering. We are the ones who clutch our box full of emotions under our arm, when it falls to the floor we stoop to retrieve our peace of mind, our wounds exposed for the world to see. The most hideous wounds require a gentle touch so go easy my friend.

  154. up and down

    Im not as good with words as urself, but I did not just read garretts post but the replies. I suffer from chronic depression and have been suicidal before numerous times- one of which I was 7months pregnant :( and reading these brings it all back as to wat I cuda give up. Im glad I battled on and still am and I hope u all realise things will get better, but it really does take time and help. You needa speak out and ask for help (dont feel ashamed r embarsssed) ur so brave. My heart aches for each and every one of you!! Iv four beautiful children now and each day I look at them i no iv to carry on. My little woman whom I tried to commit sucide while bein pregnant with is now 2 half, I was extremely lucky tat I never harmed her in any way, and look back at those very dark days thinkin I wud never get thru it and here I am!! Thjnkin of u all and I truly mean tat.

  155. Anon

    I think it’s extremely brave and courageous of you to write a message like this online for people to be inspired from. Too many people feel like this, I have in the past and you feel isolated and alone, like you’re the only person so it really is amazing to know that there are so many people out there battling the same thing each day. It gets better, it really does, I could feel like nothing was ever going to improve and that I would feel like that forever, felt I couldn’t do anything and the negative thoughts surrounded everything- I couldn’t think of anything positive and positive thoughts presented me only with the negative aspects. But it goes away and I realised how lucky I am and what I have. I strongly believe in the saying ‘We have to have the bad times, to be able to appreciate the good’. Keep fighting Garreth, you’re an inspiration to many people out there. God bless x

  156. Lisa

    This book is pretty amazing for those with suicidal/depressing/self destructive thoughts. It helps you to train your brain to observe your thoughts and in doing so they dissolve a bit.
    “Mindfulness – a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic word” http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-practical-guide-finding-frantic/dp/074995308X
    You can also watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgHmgx-nh24
    Anyone who wants to find a bit of peace, even if you don’t suffer from depression please try it because it really does work.

  157. Noname

    You sound a lot similar to me Garreth in the aspect that you’re the ‘Joker’ of the friends and go out your way to help people. It took me years to realise that it was actually making my depression even worse. I know it sounds bad and unnatural to a person with a nature like yours but being selfish is good sometimes, having your own time and doing what you desire. For instance I only help people I know who would help me, because I was always disappointed in everyone for not doing the same, in a way I was helping people as a cry for help so they’d help me. But the world isn’t like that, and as soon as you become more selfish you become happier. Stay strong mate.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      Thats a bit wishy washy Noname. We shouldnt expect something back from people when we help them. We can be selfish and selfless at the same time. We do a good deed to feel good about ourselves and help others.

      1. Noname

        You’ve misunderstood me fluffybiscuits, I’ve always done good deeds because they’re the right thing to do and I felt great when people were better off because of my help. All I’m saying is too much of this is a downfall and I was always disappointed when hardly any of my family or friends were willing to go out their way for me as much as I would do for them. So by becoming a bit more selfish I became happier and not let down as much because people walk all over you if they do. I’m not saying it’s the sole way to beat depression but it’s certainly helped a lot with mine.

  158. Ross Barry

    Dear Garreth,

    a old friend of mine took his life in October. He must of felt a lot like you do. Your description of yourself matches his fairly well. I think the big mistake he made was moving to London during one of his good periods away from friends and family. This exasperated his isolation in his down periods. Hang in there, focus on the positives, surround your self with decent supportive people and seek the right medication to stabilize your down periods!

    I wish you stability and more self respect.

    Kind regards, R. Barry

  159. Bee

    It’s unbelievable to hear a story so close to my own. I have also been admitted to the same hospital, twice. The first time was when I was 15. I understand completely how you feel about family and friends worrying profusely and I myself alway felt guilty for making them have to worry about me. What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that when you leave the hospital, that doesn’t mean you’re ‘fixed’, everybody goes back to normal and assumes you are okay. I feel as though this mental illness will always be there nagging to get back out, you have to be strong and ignore it and believe me I know how much of a struggle that is. I’m not going to leave a silly line like, it will get better for you because I can’t promise anybody that. I’m seriously struggling with it myself at the moment and reading your post really did make me feel like I wasn’t alone, and that can really help sometimes. All I know is that there’s a reason we’ve lasted this long and they’res a reason we all fight to overpower it, and as long as we have a reason to fight for life then there’s a chance that we can move on.

  160. S.

    What a brave young man you are writing this. My best friend struggled with depression for many years and attempted suicide a number of times before ultimately taking her own life. In her good times, she often talked about what it was like when she had a bad episode – like it was completely out of her control, like there was someone else in her head telling her everything was terrible and there was no way out but to kill herself, and that she was absolutely terrified of that voice. She wanted nothing better than to be better. She was put on all sorts of antidepressants, was in and out of hospital and also self-medicated with alcohol.

    I truly hope that your words reach far and wide to other suffers to let them know they are not alone, and to their friends of families to shed a little light on what it’s like to battle this terrible illness. Other friends I know still struggle with depression and have found coping techniques when they feel a bout coming on – like exercise or booking straight in for a session with a counsellor as you are doing. It’s an ongoing battle and I praise you for bringing your very personal experience out into the open. You are not alone xx

  161. noname

    hi Garreth I am in the same boat I doesn’t mater what I have in life I always go back to feeling suicidal I feel like nobody cares , I am a caring person always giving , if I feel good one day there’s that little voice banging away at me and I feel like I have to punish myself for feeling good , I used to drink to block it out but iv realised that drink only makes it worse so I am doing the same as you learning to cope watching for the signs , I have been like this since I was 14 on and of through the years ,I am now 52 and can hide feeling very low from everyone there is no cure for this and yes it is a life sentence that people like us just have to learn to cope with

  162. Ron

    A great article, really brave and honest. You can be sure someone reading this with similar feelings will take a degree of comfort from knowing that they’re not alone when it comes to these issues.
    I think your decision to fight “the little prick” is absolutely the way to go…Be ruthless, when the answer is always “no” to entertaining those negative thoughts and impulses, eventually they will diminish and fade…happened that way for me at least and getting older has a lot to be said for it-not something to dread at all!

    Good man for putting it out there and best of luck!

  163. Kim Dutta

    Lots of love to you. I think you know who you are and you know where you’re going. You just need to kick this in to touch, which you will do. And, I suspect, go on to help many others.

    Lots of love to you again
    xxx

  164. @TommyRoddy

    Garreth,
    I think it’s very brave of you to write this piece while you are at a low point and I’m certain you find it therapeutic as you point out. People often speak about low points in their life, as I have done, when they come through it but what you have done is truly inspiring.
    Donal Walsh’s message was one of opening up and reaching out, essentially sharing your problems as you are doing here.
    However that is just a start and the person has to receive the correct help. Donal Walsh’s message has been simplified as simply an anti-suicide message but in reality it was this but also the message that life is precious and we should all live as if each day is our last.
    I can understand the anger you and others feel about what Donal Walsh said. He made a very important contribution to the debate on suicide and it certainly brought much needed attention to this area. But the debate needs to be broadened. He spoke as a 16 year old boy with no knowledge/experience of what it’s like to be depressed. However I still feel he has a very important message for us all and hopefully inspire us all to aim to live lives true to ourselves.
    There is much to be done in the area of help for people in emotional distress and your article is another important contribution in this area. I sincerely hope you find the correct help and overcome this dark phase you are in. I wish you the very best and happiness for the future.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      He spoke as someone who knew that his life was at an end, he didnt have time for depression or maybe he was knowing he was going to die an early death. We dont know anything about the mind of Donal Walsh but we have to ask, if a depressed person was faced with a terminal illness and a disagnosis of six months to live would they be depressed or embrace life?

  165. joseph curley

    garreth brilliantly said been there, when reading your story it was like word for word with my own life,I am so delighted that Irish people are starting to come to terms with this cruel illness ,you take care and stay safe in this world, a young man like you is needed to promote this bad illness,for taking the old tabbo away for the likes of me and thousands of other irish people being called nutters etc,etc,etc regards seos

    .

  166. Bryan Foley

    Donal Walsh was an extremely brave young man, but you can’t compare the two. I know he was trying to help but it offended me.
    Depression and wanting to take my life where seperate for me. I wasn’t depressed but I was suicidal. It may not make any sense to anyone but it did for me. If you can imagine that the dark is suicide, the dark for some reason enters your mind and slowly takes over, you can sometimes forget about it but it will always be there. Eventually your mind/brain is totally dark. You can’t find your way out. Now you can’t forget about it. It’s there, you then begin to believe the dark is your best friend. It’s there to help you. It’s there to relieve you. All the pain and suffering will go. My dark was so bad I believed I would be doing my family a favour. I would be one less person in the way. At 16 I went to bed with as many tablets I could buy and took them with the hope I wouldn’t wake up. For people to say its a selfish thing to take your own life, try being in my shoes. I hate people who say that. Put yourself in the shoes of a person who feels the only way out is to end their life. What would it take for you to be in that position.. I was suisidal until my late 20, I still think about it but have no desire to take my own life. In 2012 I face my deamon and went to the Garda, I was sexually abused when I was 14, but along with that came the mental abuse. This was why the dark came and found me.

  167. H Kieran

    Great piece and fair play to you. It is a difficult topic and issue for many people but you expressed and articlated it very well. Congratulations and I hope that the support expressed here does help you.

  168. tracy apps

    I hope you survive for yourself and those around you – terrible illness that is not understood, i lost two members of my family the last my brother at just 43 and very successful like yourself, that wad 7 years ago and my sister and i have net been the same since – a whole that can never be filled! Hours i spend still not knowing why other than he saw the world differently and had become very cynical about the world and the people in it! I wish i could have taken him back to our childhood and the happiness we had back then even though we were quite poor by todays standards. Go back to simplicity and leave the rat race for a while to find yourself again. good luck

  169. Jr

    Why is pain invisible ,how can we see the pain that pushes some of our friends and family into the dark well with high wlls and no light.? Mental anquish starts with uniqueness and leads to aloneness but we are all alike and we need to be able to talk or to have someone to listen with an open ear. Where can we leard to develope this open ear that might help one of our family or friends to stay alive and be important to us all. Lord or whoever is your savorior lend us your ear…

  170. Paula Mc

    Garreth, tks for your bravery in writing this article and for your courage in fighting for your life. My lowest moment in my life was driving the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway with my husband and gorgeous 3 mth old daughter, it should have been one of my best Twelve years and four children later, I’ve had some moments but I am very happy I came along for the ride.

    Be very proud of yourself.

    And remember the saying “those who question one’s sanity are saner than those who don’t.

  171. @TommyRoddy

    Garreth,
    I’m a little confused. I understood you wrote that in the last few days while going through a bad patch and would be visiting a counsellor the following day. Yet on your Facebook page you say “So I’m giving this whole speaking out craic a go. Now before anyone starts getting worried, I’m grand.”
    I’d be grateful if you could clear up this confusion for me. Thanks.

  172. joanne

    Amazing person wish you nothing but the best – beautiful brother commited suicide in1999 miss him everyday!

  173. jack o

    Gareth I wish you nothing but the best for the rest of your life, you are a great guy ! Keep strong and keep your family and friends close by ! Xxxxx

  174. marian

    Dido! Thanks for sharing that piece for the rest of us out there that can’t really put it into words. So many people out there don’t really understand depression and think that it is about sadness, it’s not Its an illness, I don’t feel sad, my brain is simply not working properly at the moment. Its impossible to understand or describe unless you experience it, all logic and rational thought turns negative,instead of there being a natural ‘fight or flight’ response, our brains just seem to trigger a flight response as far as i can see. BUT it’s just a chemical imbalance. Not enough joy, laughter, fun, exercise, I don’t know, anything that gives us that feel good chemical that our brains need to work properly, to think straight again, slowly but surely.
    BUT it is temporary, I know It will pass AGAIN soon, and soon I will only vaguely remember what this feels like.
    This time I will not drink just because I enjoy it, I will find something else that I enjoy doing and this time I will not quit anti depressants lightly just because I feel fine, this time I think i finally understand this illness and i’m really looking forward to being me again soon.
    Hope you get back to yourself soon also.
    Thanks,
    Mar

  175. Geri Bride

    Dear Garreth, thank you for having the courage to bare your soul about your attempted suicide, your recovery, your constant battle with thoughts of suicide and bringing to light the plight of sufferers with Mental Health issues, which still, in this day and age has a stigma. Your insights into your own condition and your compassion for your Mum, loved ones and friends who have to watch you go through it. You have been given the gift of eloquence to portray something that is widely misunderstood and not supported enough by the Health Care systems world wide. Your article will open the eyes of those who just don’t ‘get-it’. God bless you Garreth and may He bring you healing.

  176. Geri Bride

    Dear Garreth, you are a brave, courageous and inspirational young man for baring your soul about your attempted suicide, your recovery and then constant struggle with your Mental Health issues. Your insights into your own condition and your compassion for your Mum, loved ones and friends who have to watch you go through it. You have been blessed with the eloquence to portray a disease in all it’s clarity and hopefully, people will finally ‘get it’. It is a shame on our society for allowing mental health to be stigmatized in this day and age and shame on the Health Care providers world wide for not giving equal education and funds to this area of health as they to do to Cancer. God bless you Garreth and may He bring you healing.

  177. Pegi Sweeney

    Gareth
    PLEASE dont……..my brother did in 1992…….it has totally destroyed my family
    you say 20 years, to me…… it was yesterday
    suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a ‘temporary’ problem
    I also hate im now labeled..a survivor

  178. Mary Phelan

    Thank you Gareth for adding so articulately to the understanding of this experience. Wish you all the very best and well done.

    1. alexandra

      Dear Gareth, Thank you so much for sharing your story…. It can be very hard to say or write down some bad experiences that may have occured in your lifetime. We can talk all day about right or wrong, bad or good,health or money etc…
      I was 17 years when I tryed to take my own life, I was so happy was in a relation had a job etc… I came home one night and took some tablets had that nagging thought in my head and it kept on sayin your no good, you would’nt be missed…. I went to bed that night and I didn’t wake until 3pm the following day until my Mum came home from work, I got up and could not hardly walk, I said nothing of what I had done the previous night before until my boyfriend came that evening and called for me to go out. I was putting on my eye shadow and as I was putting it on I could not see straight in the mirror. In the end I had to tell them of what i done. I was rushed to hospital and all’s I can say is that thank god I am alive. For months after I questioned myself WHY? but never found any answers to why i done it… did it again… My Mum and sister still worry till this day and now I am 31 years old, if I will be okay and will that thought ever cross my mind again….? Mental health has become a big issue in society and I would love to see children in schools (primary) some education about this or councelling…..

  179. Alison

    It’s a year since I tried to take my own life, and now I’m thinking about it again, dreaming about it. Seeing this really has helped, today I skipped class and went to a councillor, I’m not better, but I’m still here and intend to be tomorrow so that’s something.. I too am the loud joker who talks to everyone but I have no real friends and am always lonely. I feel nobody likes me, but I don’t even like me so why should they, on paper a sound great, smart, pretty, generous but in my eyes I’m an ugly failure polluting the world and irritating people by trying to be their friends, I hope I get better!!

  180. Anon Also

    Garreth, thank you for speaking out. There are so many of us who don’t. I’m terrified that people will find out I’ve suffered from depression, and always afraid it will come back. Like you, I had a good life, friends, love, support and a bright future when it hit. It made no sense. The guilt is something that remains. Four years after I stopped needing treatment, I dropped a heavy book by accident in my room. Within 30 seconds every member of my family had run through the door, convinced I’d done something to myself. It never occurred to me that they still worried now that I was ok again. You’re a brave man for speaking out and seeking help, I wish you all the best with your recovery.

  181. Shauna

    Garreth, thank you for writing this. My sister has just turned 19 & recently told her close family & friends about her suicidal thoughts & voices in her head. When I asked her why she decided to tell people now she told me she had read an article a few months back where a “normal guy” admitted to being depressed & suicidal. She said she completely related to what he said & realised she wasn’t a freak. She told people & is currently getting professional help. Essentially, that article saved her life. I guarantee you yours has done the same to somebody somewhere & I thank you from the bottom of my heart for having the bravery to speak about mental health.

  182. Mark

    Inspiring.. I really never thought so deeply into how it would feel to feel like that. Probable never will come close to fully understanding, but I applaud your courage and cheer for your recovery. Take her handy.

  183. Mc B

    I’m sure its hard but ignore the negative comments Garreth, your honesty should be applauded, you’ll always get people who are ignorant and cruel in life, its their lack of understanding that’s bring out such hate, and maybe their just just not very caring or good people. Either way congratulations for putting yourself out there and i’m sure this has and will touch others that has and are going trough the same feelings, Ive never experienced feelings such as these, its hard for people to put yourself in your shoes if they’ve never experienced such emotions, i have a friend who shares the same feelings (feeling like ‘shes in a black hole and cant get out’) and its hard to comprehend because she too has friends/ a good family/ job etc, for me i found it frustrating in the beginning but i soon realized it was an illness, i hope you one day gain peace with yourself and life works out for you! Just by writing this piece alone shows what a lovely and courageous person you are!!

  184. Lizzy

    Thanks so much for putting this into words – thank you from those of us who are fighting this demon, for those who have difficulty understanding and for the wonderful funny people who have already lost their battle and chosen to leave us. Hugs Lizzy xxx

  185. Pauline

    this is a great post and honest. I have been there not got quite as far as the attempt the reason I did not as being a single mother of three it would have been my youngest daughter who found me. I just could not desert her as her father had done. then I had not gone as deep into depression as others who completed suicide. things from my past have kept control of my mind and I constantly get therapy and help. I pray for my aggressors who controlled my life for so long though most are dead now. I do understand that depression can be like a cancer eating away at ones life. yes there is help if you are able to reach for it. when getting counselling I know I told only what I wanted to reveal as I didn’t think the counsellor could deal with all my pain. we don’t release everything at least I didn’t I think it is my way of being in control of my life. drink and drugs were not my addiction it was self abuse. I know I am worth more and fight for justice and help prevent the cause. those who are being wreck less with their words should step back you may be tipping some one over the edge with the bad comments. unless you have travelled a few feet in my shoes don’t judge me. travel my life and see if you are the most wonderful survivor. the things is to become a survivor and not a victim and then a thriving person and have a beautiful life. I have found meditation and god my best buddy he knows all doesn’t comment and listens to all the crap I tell him even when I give out to him. my you all live in peace and joy supporting eachother in this crazy world as Aslan would say

  186. linda

    I don’t know if you read any of the replies but your words struck a cord with me “So, in my case, I drank. I drank to try and rid myself of the constant waves of negativity crashing over me, washing out the good of the day.
    But then that will stop working and you’ll be left drunk and alone, hating yourself even more. I began drinking socially again after six months off it. I drank not because I wanted to forget but because I enjoyed it.” I indeed drank for the exact same reason and afterwards felt hallow and alone.
    I disagree with your statement “Suicidal ideation, to many, is a terminal illness and something which can’t be fought with medication”.i have fought depression for 10 years and counting both with and without medication.
    I guess am writing this to thank you for your article. It has given me the courage to start opening up and talking about my illness. I felt very isolated and alone like nobody undersood my illness but haven read this article its like ya Garreth MacNamee knows what he is talking about.
    I was very angry with my counselor, as I thought the counselling wasn’t helping what I was looking for was a quick fix I realize now that’s not what therapy is about more a work in progress. I wrote him an email asking for him to refer me to a clinic down south that specializes in his kind of therapy as I have found with the correct medication admission to oneself that depression is an illness and counselling that there is a way forward.
    Thanks again
    Linda

  187. linda

    Ps i going to carry this message with me:“ I’m going to beat this little prick in my head who’s trying to tell me I’m not good enough.”

  188. Ej

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am in that exact same position as you and your article gives me hope. Sharing your experience is much appreciated and I am sure it will help others. Thanks again and I am wishing you the very best for the future. May 2014 be your best year yet! cheers

  189. Sue Gallacher

    Hi Garreth and all who have responded who suffer with depression and have braved opening their hearts here a little.You’re all incredibly courageous for sharing, but more for enabling your own experiences to offer balm to Garreth and everyone like me who has read your comments.

    I’m a counsellor, although I’m not practising here in Ireland, I did have a practise when I lived in the UK. I don’t know whether I have anything to say that will help at all, but I’ll throw some of my thoughts in and hope at least some of them help someone in some small way.

    In my experience, such as it is, every one that I worked with, every single issue that a person asked to work on with me, had them feeling isolated and alone. Each of you writing has experienced that isolation and desolation that is your unique experience of depression. Yet, each and every one of us has experienced it in one form or another to varying degrees, which in itself means we aren’t alone, we aren’t an island floating to nowhere.

    When you’re having a good day and you’re laughing with friends and being the life and soul of everyone’s universe you never consider asking yourself why that is. When you’re having a great hair day and people smile at you in the street for no good reason you never stop and ask yourself why that is. When you feel on top of the world because you passed your driving test or got told how gorgeous you are or got a promotion at work you don’t stop and ask yourself why that is. You just experience the high, the elation the happiness, the confidence, the love, the joy, we never think to ask ourselves why we’re happy or enjoying positive feelings, we just experience them. Yet the minute we experience that natural opposite to any of the above emotions we begin asking ourselves why, why aren’t I happy still, why don’t I feel confident today, why is my hair doing it’s own thing and letting me down today. Then, instead of acknowledging our feelings which might enable us to move past them, we start questioning them more, start trying to find a cause a reason and when we can’t find one we feel worse because there should be one. Or we find something to blame our feelings on, like a partner, boss, friend, traffic and we project OUR feelings on to them as a way of getting over them. Or we try to find ways of getting past these bad feelings, or ways to avoid them, like drinking. Instead of stopping and saying like Garreth did ‘It’s ok to not be ok.’, which it absolutely is.

    When you acknowledge the way you feel, identify the feeling and go with it, you have a better chance of moving past it to the next positive feeling with a sense of achievement at having rode the storm and come out the other side. Also you become aware that you have the coping skills to manage these emotions. When we fight or try to avoid sad, angry, hurt, unhappy feelings, then those feelings feel denied, feel ignored and so hang around getting worse, making you feel ill, lethargic, stressed and ultimately in some cases suicidal. There is always a first day of depression, the job is recognising which day that is and challenging it then, before the snake that it is worms it’s way through your brain doing it’s worst. The first day isn’t the day that you’re sat in the corner cocooned in a black shroud, numb from all emotion and clearly seeing suicide as a viable option. The first day is generally the one where you couldn’t be bothered, you’ve gone way past the days when acknowledging your feelings may have helped and have moved into a flat zone. You know the one, where you’re not in any particular mood but just can’t be arsed with anything either, that’s your big warning time. That’s the day to go the gym and work out or go for a long walk, better still call a good friend and go out for a meal or just go visit them and chat and chat until something like emotion pops up again. Don’t go seeking advise, because everyone is a lay expert and with the best will in the world will want to help and they only can by listening. The key to winning is knowing that too, knowing that your friend, your soul-mate, your mum, dad, they can all help by being the intervention, not the cure. By being someone you can lean on to gather some fortitude for the way back.

    A good counsellor will do much the same, but in a space where you feel safe, secure and where your feelings are valued and heard. A good counsellor wont offer advice but rather give you some tools to help yourself. They might gently guide you back to recognising your emotions and help you identify them, so that you can acknowledge them and value them yourself as highly as you value those you consider positive emotions. The reality is that emotions are emotions and all of them deserve to be valued as you do as the remarkable and courageous human being that you are.

    When I am having what I term a bad day now, I acknowledge it and I give myself a time limit like “Today is a bad day, I’m going to curl up in bed and cry and watch chick flicks all day (if I can). Then tomorrow I WILL do something to sort it out.” Generally once I’ve acknowledged the feelings and recognised what they are, then I start to feel better because I gave them their time. Sometimes I don’t even try to find the cause, because sometimes there just isn’t one, it’s just a crappy, feel blue day. If I try to find a cause, then I can often end up making something up and blaming something or someone for it in my mind and that starts a whole negative cycle that I don’t want to get on. I have in the past and created mayhem, so I’ve learned now. It’s a constant challenge too, like anything, you have to keep working at it.

    I hope today is your good day. :-)

    1. B Bop

      Truly superbly said Sue Gallacher & Lisa -hopefully your advise will surely help some people.
      Am astounded on the continued comments on Broadsheet in reply to Gareth’s & other’s brave posts.
      Should this massive response not be forwarded to the Minister for Health to see the absolute problems out there.
      All I can garner from it all, & I cannot know the depths of pain some people are in, I truly wish is for each of us to cherish our lives…we all have down moments, days etc…life is a continuous cycle.
      It is almost a more modern pressure now upon all of us to be “successful”, pretty, happy….when all that matters is an inner happiness, being a good friend to yourself & a life you wish to lead-not the superficialities.
      For the younger commentators…they truly need to know that life does get better after the late school/college years.
      For those who definitely do have chemical imbalances in their brains, I truly hope they realise it’s just that -a fixable solution to hopefully go on & lead a great life.
      Really hoping people are saved by everyone’s honesty on Broadsheet & knowing that they are not alone…there are always people who care.

    2. @TommyRoddy

      Hi Sue,
      How do you reconcile what you said here: “Don’t go seeking advise…..” with what you have written. It seems to me you are giving advice and asking people not to go looking for advice at the same time!

      1. Sue Gallacher

        Hi Tom,
        My apologies for sounding contradictory and on re-reading I agree I do sound like that. What I was trying to say was that when vulnerable we often seek to find answers and solutions from everyone around us, hoping someone will have the answer. However, the solutions are within the individual as depression is such a personal experience, having an awareness of that is the key to moving forward I feel.

        1. @TommyRoddy

          I agree 100% with you there Sue. We all have the answers inside ourselves. Finding them can be sometimes tricky and we need the help of others, such as a good therapist, sometimes to guide us along the way :)
          Thanks for clarifying what you were saying :)

  190. lisa

    Thank you Garreth, you are very inspiring.
    The health system fails people in Ireland, moving from one councillor to another, doctors that don’t understand and want to feed you with drugs to hide the problems.
    I feel you can be our help to helping our friends, family and society to help understand why there are so many of there family members and neighbours committing suicide.
    I met a girl on the bus once and she was telling me how much she wanted to be a nurse all her life she knew what she wanted to do was help people. then her grandmother got sick and was bed bound and she would visit her in her nursing home everyday and even thought she was only 12 or 13 she saw how the nurses had little time to help each patient, little time to feed them, wash them, change them and how the hse had made new budgets which cut the amount of nappies her grandmother could use in a day, even if she had wet one she had to wait until a certain time to be changed often hours. so my friend got her degree in politics and human rights and is now top of her class in her masters, which she is very determined to change the system. This is where you come in, you can help so many people, you are a journalist which has the means to spread a message for all of us who are just no strong enough or are busy spreading another message, so Thank you Garreth.

    And yes when other people talk about suicide and say ‘its selfish’, dont ‘do it’ they dont understand. what do you think a weak person commits suicide, if you physically think of all the steps a person must go through to commit suicide, it is in fact a brave thing to do, that you can physically hurt yourself and cause that must pain to yourself. I started researching suicides. Im no expert on it, genetics has alot to do with all our illnesses in our lifetime but as far as the scientific journals and autopsy reports show very low levels of serotonin (our happy hormone), if even any trace of serotonin in some autopsy reports. Of all the 20+ people I know that commit suicide (5 had underlining drug/drink problems), of the other they were very nice, fun, kind people who never ever want to hurt their family members or friends. I dont think its an act of being selfish at all, its an act of dispair.

    The last time I was suicidal I was depressed first which I didnt realise and then I got so confused, it was like I didn’t know where I was and the pain of your mind never shutting of is worse than any physical pain I’ve ever felt and I’ve had children, been accidentally scalded my hands, had gallstones, its just never ending pain. When I finally made my way to the hospital which was a 5 minute walk and took me over an hour I kept saying to myself if I can do this I can do anything. And as the psychologist talked to me I felt hope and relief creep in to my mind, and I knew one day I’d get better.

    These quotes I say to myself daily:
    ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’, ‘you can’t put your arms around the world’, and
    ‘The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it’
    Good luck :-)

  191. Joseph

    I have to say your story was just so heart wrenching for me to read. I have had thoughts of suicide in the past for a number of different reasons but i never actually went through with it. I’m not really sure what held me back from performing such an unspeakable act other than my will to live as long as a life as i can. I’m a very quiet, shy and socially awkward person when i’m around people or when i meet someone for the first time. I just get so worked up and my heart feels like it’s going to come out of my chest sometimes. I have been like this for as long as i can remember and have always had trouble trying to make friends. I’m in college at the moment and have just recently started my first year. I’m always usually the person that just sits there and waits for people to talk to me and i drive myself crazy with the paranoia that people are laughing about me or talking about me in an unfriendly way. Now i do feel that i have come out of my shell a small bit and have genuinely tried to make an effort with people in my class, but i just don’t think the feeling is mutual. I was picked on a lot when i was in primary and secondary school and as a result suffered from a nervous breakdown at a very young age. I just felt so low in myself at the time that i felt like attempting suicide. I guess my family made me see sense and i was put on a lot of medication to help ease with the pain. The point i’m making is i just feel like such a loner right now as i don’t have any friends and have such low self esteem. I just keep thinking to myself what have i done wrong for these people not to like me or even talk to me for that matter. I really cant see myself lasting on this degree course that’s meant to be 4 years long with these people if i’m feeling this low and miserable all the time. I just don’t have the energy anymore. Can anyone give me some words of encouragement?

    1. @TommyRoddy

      Joseph,
      I too would also advise counselling but unlike the other poster I’d advise you to stay in College if you think you can make some sort of go of it. Counselling is a slow process and it can take time for you to get in touch with your feelings. College would give your life some kind of structure. You have the advantage of being with people your own age and if counselling was going well, you might feel like joining some of the many clubs and societies there.
      Taking a year off College could mean you having a lot of time to yourself and possibly isolating yourself further.

    2. lisa

      Hey Joseph,
      I was totally the same, I was bullied in a place I worked by two older women for years, then I started going out with this guy that treated me badly and ruined what confidence I had. I said to myself I was going to fight and never give up. When your in new situation like college, and your heart is beating really fast, sweating hands and some times butterflies/pains in your tummy (thats what I had) it was anxiety and often feeling of you just have to get out of there. Once you google about it there’s loads of help for anxiety once you’ve put a name on it.
      If you don’t have anxiety great, in college you must remember that everyone is nervous, join a college society or club even if you don’t like the hobby (do it for exercise!) (they’ll have college nights out, evening events etc), make an appointment with the college counselor or go to college nurse (they’re really sound), put yourself out there and say you’ll be class rep and you will make friends or say it to your lecturer or student union in private and they will do group projects where it will be easier for you to make friends.
      What I used to do when I got nervous and usually would say something that didn’t make sense, my brain would be going really fast thinking of different things to say! Just RELAX take a step back, pretend they are someone you know (like a sibling or a cousin and no matter what you say they are going to be your friend). be yourself, pretend you don’t care attitude, and think of some you know that is really confident and ask yourself ‘what would they do’ and pretend you are them.
      Also sitting beside someone that seems friendly, asking them for a spare pen, or sheet of paper can break the ice, then give out about the lecturer to them (e.g he’s so boring, this is so hard, im finding this really hard) break the ice. if they are going for tea/coffee/ fag/ lunch say you come along (don’t smoke if you don’t) just be yourself!! If they invite you to house party go or say would you mind if i tag along, students don’t care the more the merrier.
      I used to be like you, had no friends in the first college i went to, but i finished the course decided to go back for another degree and made loads of friends but telling my head to be quite and relax, when i got to know people in college, you;d never believe the amount of shy nervous people with the same anxiety thing I had. what ever happens stay in college, as when you look back 5 years from now, believe me you’ll just laugh and go what was I worrying about! oh and my friend told me she read this book that helped her make friends; ‘how to make friends and influence people’ its in kindle version for tenner.

      oh and a counsellor once told me always have three topics in your mind each day of what is going on in the world so when you’re really to talk you have them ready e.g. ‘there’s a storm due next week, meant to be really bad’, ‘man united won the match last nite 2-1’, ‘did you see breaking bad last nite, such and such a thing happend’,
      most of all BE YOURSELF and enjoy college life :-)

  192. linda

    Dear Joseph
    I empathize completely with your situation I too suffered a nervous breakdown at the age of 17 and again at 27.you made the first hardest step you reached out for help and you my friend are not alone. To leave or to stay that’s a toughie do you like your chosen degree? Could you perhaps defer your course and seek counselling for a year? You just need someone to confide in. I thought counselling wasn’t helping at first what I was looking for was a quick fix I realise now that’s not what therapy is about more a work in progress. I have found with the correct medication admission to oneself that depression is an illness and counselling that there is a way forward.
    Linda

  193. bets

    hey Garreth,

    reading this was nearly like reading my own mind! i’ve always found it hard to describe what i’m going through but you nocked the nail on it’s head!

    i can’t imagine ever being as open as you have been, so i just wanted to let you know that you are incredibly brave and courageous to be this open and also thanks for sharing, makes us sufferers not feel so alone!

    i wish you all the best for the future and good luck,

    xx

  194. linda

    Dear Tommy Roddy,
    I was merely making a suggestion and failed to look at the other side of the coin thank you for your input to Josephs mail.
    Regards
    Linda

  195. niall

    fair play Garreth, keep fighting the darkness, sadly it took my father away from me in 2011, I know you will survive and get through it just never give up

  196. Anonymous

    Hi Garreth,

    Thank you for telling your story. Not sure what to write here as your story really touched a nerve with me and feel teary even writing this. Back in May I tried to commit suicide. Like you I had everything to live for, house, boyfriend , job..etc. Doctors told me I was lucky to survive but I didn’t feel very lucky. I spent 6 weeks in John of Gods and felt I was on the road to recovery when I left. However 2 weeks after leaving hospital i fell into the deepest depressions that i could ever have gone through. Every morning I woke up, I just wanted to be dead and every evening I just wanted to go asleep and never wake up. I tried to commit suicide another 2 times. It took the guts of 4-5 months for me to wake up and not think of suicide. I’m happy to say today I feel a lot better. I have to say it was a herbalist on top of medication that helped me. I don’t feel 100% today, however I’m starting to get back my life back.

    Please keep telling your story as it’s comforting to know that your not alone. I hope you begin to feel better soon. For me it’s taking each day as it comes and being kind to yourself.

    Thank you & take care of yourself

  197. Michelle

    Well done, well done, well done for being you, for getting to where you are now and for all you’re going to be in the future. You can do this xx

  198. daffodils

    Donal Walsh said out loud what many people think and ware afraid to say. It felt deeply uncomfortable when he said it and now I have heard and read what those who have experienced depression in the entres above have said and maybe that is what Donal words have done is casused people to speak out loud, to articulate both ends of the spectrum of thought, views and experience. That openess on both side is hard but healthy and perhaps that will be Donal;’s legacy, that his words caused people to speak out and speak up from both sides and see how we can close the gap. He is gone and so are many others.Let us use our time to help those that still live, live longer and live better.

  199. peter fitzpatrick

    When things are bad people think they will never be good again. When things are good people think they will never be bad again. The truth is they will often be a combination of both. Having been through one of the worst periods of my life when things were bad and bad again finally they are starting to get good. Never ever give up and the best advice I ever got about worrying about the future was live in the now.Try it it worked for me.

  200. Pat Hannon

    Garreth you were one of out best students in DIT, ever. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Give me a shout for a coffee.

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