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Comment #4913355 by Seán Ó Briain

Seán Ó Briain Mar 24th 2016, 10:51 PM #

We say we want to change the situation about mental health. But in my experience – most people who aren’t affected by it rarely go beyond token gestures.

The sad reality for most people struggling is that they’ll receive apathy from their doctor, and a bottle of pills. If you’re lucky and have money, you’ll be able to afford a good counsellor who will help you with the likes of CBT. For others, they could be waiting a while to see a counsellor – and even at that, it’s still never enough to combat this illness. Most people struggling with depression feel lost, and they don’t really know what to do about it.

Yeah, you can tell people to go to support groups – but for a lot of people, the mere idea of sitting down with strangers is a horrifying experience. It just isn’t that easy when you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. And so many people who have depression, don’t even know it. I thought it was normal to feel down and empty. Just “one of those days”, which came around far too often for my comfort. It was an endocrinologist who told me I needed to get help. Not my GP, not the array of health specialists I’ve see in the past decade. An endocrinologist.

All the support and pills in the world still won’t end the pain for so many people. Until we take mental health as serious as physical health, we’ll never really overcome it. I’m only 33, and I know way too many people who have taken their own life at my age than I should. I’ve watched the system fail people, and fail them horrifically.

I get tired posting about this issue, because every year that passes – we’re still not making any progress.

Some advice. Don’t tell someone to cheer up. We can’t flick a switch. Don’t say stupid things like “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. Depression isn’t a temporary problem, it’s a life-long problem.

Text a friend if they’ve been awol for a few months. If they don’t leave their house much, it’s for a reason.

And most importantly – be kind.

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'A lot of young Irish people don't see a future': Blindboy gives powerful interview about suicide

'A lot of young Irish people don't see a future': Blindboy gives powerful interview about suicide

The Rubberbandits member spoke about the suicide epidemic in Ireland.