DUBLIN STAR SHANE CARTHY HAS SPOKEN ABOUT HIS BATTLE WITH DEPRESSION FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE HIS DIAGNOSIS IN MAY.
Carthy explained to Today with Seaon O’Rourke on RTE Radio One how his battle came to a head after his side’s Leinster under-21 final victory this year.
“It was building up for the last couple of years,” he said. “It got worse and worse in the six months previous to the Leinster final. I was diagnosed with depression just after.
“It was kind of like putting up a mask not only to my teammates but also to my family and friends. It was constant. But inside, there was something wrong. The last six months were particularly difficult, I had thoughts of ending my life. It was getting that hard — it was a very scary thing and something I didn’t think would come into my head. That caused my anxiety to build up. It just slowly deteriorated.
“I wanted a distraction every day, going to training and going to college was a good distraction for myself. It was only when I went home and went to bed, it was the worst time.”
He revealed how he went completely blank before the All-Irelans semi-final win over Cavan after suffering a panic attack in training.
“My mam’s mum and dad passed away early February. I was planning on saying something but I felt it would be a bit of a burden with eveything going on,” he added.
“I’m very close with my three sisters. I went over to visit one of them in Sweden and was hoping I would say something, but that didn’t materialise. I came back and had an All-Ireland semi-final to look forward to. I had a panic attack in training, which brought me to St Pat’s hospital.
“It was after training. We were going out to Castleknock hotel. My dad knew what was happening with myself. He didn’t want me on my own. From all the anxiety over the last couple of years and months, I just felt a massive surge and I just went completely blank. Next thing you know, I was in St Pat’s.”
Carthy pleaded with anyone who is struggling with depression to talk to someone and the problem fixed.
“If you are struggling, you’re not alone and it’s definitely not a sign of weakness to say you are struggling. With the stigma attached to it, a lot of people think they are alone and in my personal opinion, it takes strength and courage to show you are struggling. If you’ve a broken leg, you go to the hospital and get that fixed, and if you’ve a broken mind, you get that fixed.
“I was in hospital for two months. I got out in the middle of June, I had a couple of weeks to myself and eventually went back to work and joined up with the senior panel and they were hugely supportive. I’ve started doing sports science in DCU and we’ve got a hectic schedule coming up [with Dublin].
“I’ve taken a step back. I would’ve thought Gaelic was everything, but now I appreciate family and friends and the simple things. It’s not everything.”
If you have been affected by this article call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org