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opening up

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.”

“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.



Earlier this year the world listened as One Direction’s Zayn Malik opened up about his ongoing battle with anxiety, and now another influential young popstar has decided to share her own mental health story.

As Cosmopolitan’s September cover star, Rita Ora sat down with the celebrated magazine to discuss her own anxiety issues and the impression Zayn’s decision to open up about his mental health had on her.

She told Cosmo: “I'm so glad someone has spoken out about it…I'm not scared to admit that I have had therapy.”



Meet our September cover star – @ritaora! Get your hands on the new issue Wednesday 3 August. #septemberissue

A photo posted by Cosmopolitan UK (@cosmopolitanuk) on

“I have someone I speak to once a week. People suffer it in different ways, but for me it's more about thinking about the long-term goal.”

“I'm a very 'in the moment'-type person, so if I have to do something there and then, I'll be fine.  But if I think about it, that's when anxious thoughts start going in.”

The How We Do singer went on to stress the importance of having a strong network of people around her at times when she is struggling with anxiety issues.



Keep your heart light.

A photo posted by Rita Ora (@ritaora) on

She said: “I get so nervous because I care so much… Sometimes I get nervous about recording a song in the studio.  I'm like, 'I'm not ready to record this yet.' Or, 'I don't think I can do this.'”

“I'm relieved to have people around me who encourage me to do well.”

We think it’s brilliant that another big name has weighed in on this important conversation by sharing their own personal experience of anxiety.