Al Porter has spoken publicly about his struggle with depression for the first time.
Appearing on Brendan O’Connor’s The Cutting Edge last night, the Dublin based comedian revealed that despite his confidence, he does suffer with mental health issues.
He also documented and challenged the stigma which currently surrounds taking anti-depressants in Ireland, using his own experience as a powerful example.
The 23-year-old began: “I’m going to tell you something now that I didn’t even tell my mam until two hours ago, when I rang her because I knew I was going to say it to you.”
Explaining his journey towards medication, Al recounted how a friend suggested that the reason behind his inability to enjoy his experiences and success may be down to a physical “imbalance” rather than an issue founded in circumstance.
“I went to a doctor, I wouldn’t even go to my own family doctor, I was too afraid. So I went to a doctor in Carlow,” he confessed. “He said ‘look, you need anti-depressants and I never thought that I would be that person. Nobody in my family would think that I would be that person.”
“I’ve been hiding them in my house,” he continued. “I have had my friend pick them up because I didn’t want to go in with the prescription. I’ve had the prescription written to different names than my own.”
“That stigma, I never really thought it was real. I heard people…talk about it and I’m kind of going ‘I can’t really get where you’re coming from’”.
“And then I suddenly realise, someone that’s as confident as me who tells people every detail of their life, I couldn’t just admit, yeah, that I need those pills. They’re going to keep me balanced.”
— Cutting Edge (@CuttingEdgeRTE) November 16, 2016
“If I can’t cope with that, Jesus knows how somebody who doesn’t have the confidence that I have does. [Someone] who’s in their bed for three weeks and is going, ‘Who am I going to ring to pick them up for me?’”.
Al has been widely praised online for sharing his story so candidly.
This morning, he took to Twitter to thank his followers for their support.
Thanks everyone. Means a lot. x
— Al Porter (@TheAlPorter) November 17, 2016