DUBLIN footballer Shane Carthy has opened up about his battle with depression and his road to acceptance, encouraging others who are struggling to seek help.
The Portmarnock native shared his story with Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio on Tuesday revealing that he contemplated taking his own life at his lowest ebb.
Shane, 28, said he hid his mental health problems from his family, friends and team mates for two years so thoroughly he “should have got an Oscar”.
The Dubs hero also admitted that he hit a low just one week after winning his first All Ireland final at the tender age of 18.
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He said: “It was a gradual process. I thought it was hormonal changes going on in my body. It was only after a year and a half I started to realise it was depression.
“A week after the All Ireland final was the first time I had thoughts of dying by suicide. It was something I couldn’t make sense of.
“I was living this idyllic life from the outside looking in. A week later I didn’t want any part of the world. I couldn’t make sense of what was in my head.”
Shane, the youngest of four siblings, told how he would leave the family home for a “notorious coffee trip” so he could get away and cry in private.
He revealed: “I would go to a quiet car park, to the Portmarnock train station car park or the beach car park and I would just sit in the car and cry.
“It was the frustration. I simply couldn’t figure it out. I was upset because I couldn’t find answers, that was the frustration that I felt.”
The day of the Leinster Under 21s final Shane’s mother witnessed his crying. She sat beside him on the sofa, put her hand around his shoulder, and offered a listening ear.
He suffered a panic attack just days later and ended up in St Patrick’s Hospital where he spent 11 weeks.
He was diagnosed with depression and put on Prozac, and began talk therapy. Shane is now writing a book about his journey and says he’s happy to share his story if it helps others.
He said: “The best advice I ever got is to find what makes you tick. I remember this guy in therapy saying that for him, it was knitting. For me it was and still is exercise.”
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