Wednesday 26 June 2019

'The bad days aren’t as bad as they once were' - Ex-Dublin player shares powerful story on battle with depression

19 February 2013; Shane Carthy, Dublin. Cadbury Leinster GAA Football U21 Championship 2013, Dublin v Carlow, Parnell Park, Donnycarney, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
19 February 2013; Shane Carthy, Dublin. Cadbury Leinster GAA Football U21 Championship 2013, Dublin v Carlow, Parnell Park, Donnycarney, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Dublin footballer Shane Carthy has written a powerful blog post chronicling his battle with depression.

The Portmarnock native stepped away from football in 2014 to focus on his mental health battle, and today has released a positive update after overcoming some tough times.

Carthy made his debut for Dublin in 2013 during Jim Gavin's first season and was on the bench for the National League and All-Ireland victories that season. However, despite excelling on the field, Carthy was struggling with depression away from the sport. He was a key member of the Dublin U21 team under Dessie Farrell in 2014, but missed the All-Ireland semi-final and final wins after spending time in St Patrick's Mental Hospital as he got to the root of his depression.

Carthy has since graduated from DCU and has written an emotional piece charting his struggle with depression, and how he overcame it.

"In total, I spent 11 weeks in hospital," Carthy wrote.

"My appreciation for life was lit again after my time at St. Patricks Mental Hospital. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone at the hospital, the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), Dessie Farrell, Mick Galvin and of course my family."

"Today it is the most simple of things that gives me the greatest pleasure," he continued. Being thankful for the life that I almost took away is the reason for my greater appreciation of life. More recently I’ve began to do talks in around the country sharing my experiences with depression. I have a desire to try and get my message out there. Whether it’s doing talks in schools, sharing something on social media or simply meeting people on the street, I’ve realised the lucky position I’m in and that something I say or do has an effect further afield than I really think.

"This gives me the greatest satisfaction of them all. If I strike a chord with only one or two people each time I share my story, it means that those one or two people won’t make that fatal decision that I almost made all them years ago.

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"To this day I still see my psychologist. I used to see him twice a week when I first came out of hospital but my appointments gradually spaced out as I continued along my path to recovery. It hasn’t been easy, as anyone who has experienced mental health difficulties will know. I still have my good and bad days as anyone does but the bad days, thankfully, aren’t as bad as they once were."

The Samaritans can be reached by calling 116 123, emailing jo@samaritans.org, or visiting www.samaritans.ie.*

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