AN IRISHMAN'S story about his 10-year battle with depression has gone viral on Facebook.
Dubliner Doug Leddin shared his plight on his page yesterday to highlight the struggle of people who are faced by people suffering with mental illness
Now aged 27, Mr Leddin has been in and out of medical facilities since he was 16 and has never spoken about it, even to his closest friends.
"I'm talking about depression and its something we all need to talk more about, for too long people have suffered in silence and its not right and as hard as it is to talk about it, it genuinely does help," he wrote in his post.
"I'm not saying that by opening up to your friends, family, colleagues or even team mates that it will make everything ok, but it will certainly help."
The video, which he made with a friend, has been viewed close to 500,000 times since it was uploaded yesterday.
In it, he goes through the battle he has been fighting privately since his teenage years.
"What we actually fear the most is that our friends won't understand and we'll lose them, that our family won't know what we're going through," he said.
"That our colleagues will look at us differently or that we may even lose our jobs."
"Last year in Ireland alone over 550 people died because of depression," he added. "That's more than car accidents."
Watch the moving video below
It's not often I post something too serious on Social Media and I'm not sure this is the right thing to do and to be honest i'm nervous as hell writing this status but I hope it helps others and I hope you can share this if you think it will help someone.
There is something I have wanted to get off my chest for a long time, 10 years in fact. This will come as a surprise to some of my closest friends who I just couldn't talk to for fear of loosing them or not being accepted.
But after a lot of thought and consideration I decided to make a video to lift this burden off my shoulders and to share my experiences with you.
I'm talking about depression and its something we all need to talk more about, for too long people have suffered in silence and its not right and as hard as it is to talk about it, it genuinely does help. Im not saying that by opening up to your friends, family, colleagues or even teammates that it will make everything ok, but it will certainly help.
To my best friends I have to say sorry, sorry for not having the courage to do this sooner.
To my family, thank you for the support over the past 10 years.
I'm now 27 and in a much better place in my life. I have spent years in and out of doctors, John of Gods and various other places getting help since the age of 16. It was a dark place and I suffered alone and I shouldn't have. The past year have been much better and i'm thankfully in a place now that I feel comfortable sharing this and although I wish it didn't take me this long to open up it did and I cant change that but hopefully I can encourage a few others to do the same.
I suppose the reason I'm doing this is to try encourage others to speak about their mental health issues with family, friends or even organisations.
If you think this could help someone please feel free to share it.
Together we can beat the stigma associated with mental health, an issue that is on the rise with people of our generation.
Just remember you are not alone!
If anyone needs to talk to anyone there are plenty of organisations out there that can help:
Pieta House, Preventing Suicide and Self Harm
Reach Out Ireland
A Lust For Life
Possibly the most nerve wrecking thing I have ever done is writing this and clicking "Post".
Thanks to Gerard Walsh for making this video for me, A true legend and a great friend!
Posted by Doug Leddin on Dé Céadaoin, 13 Aibreán 2016