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world mental health day

In the beginning, there were a lot of bad mental health days but then things started to get better.

I started to manage my anxiety and the clouds of negative thoughts slowly started to clear in my mind.


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I thought my anxiety was gone. I naively thought I was ‘cured’. I was too ignorant to realise that mental health disorders don’t just magically vanish. They’re something you have to manage for life.

My anxiety reappeared in May, 2018, on one of the hardest days of my life. The memory of this day is one that will never leave my mind, I remember it all too well.

I was curled up in bed, engulfed in my copy of The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill when I heard a strange noise from the room next to mine.

Was someone snoring or coughing? I wasn’t quite sure, but my gut told me to check what it was.

I opened the door to find my mam turned over on her side in bed, but she wasn’t asleep. She was having what we later discovered was a seizure.


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She was shaking uncontrollably, foaming at the mouth, making this horrid gurgling noise because her brain had shut down and her body was struggling to breathe.

I held her grey, lifeless body in my arms and just yelled and yelled until my dad and sister came upstairs to find us. We shouted at the paramedics to hurry up and get here because as I clung onto my mam, I genuinely thought she was dead, we all did.

I sat in the James’s Hospital A&E for thirteen hours, waiting, hoping and praying my mam was okay. And she was.

The doctors explained to us that mam had a seizure, but have yet to find the cause, but they upped her medication, schedule constant appointments and are pretty pleased with how she is doing at the moment.


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Mam is happy and healthy, but ever since that harrowing day I have been a ball of anxiety. The trauma of nearly losing her triggered my anxiety and let it attack when I was at my most vulnerable and I must admit I haven’t been able to manage it as well as I used to.

I am jumpy at home whenever I hear an unusual noise. I wake up in the middle of the night to make sure mam is okay. Dozens of thoughts whizzing through my mind: Is she breathing? Has she taken her medication? Will she be okay when I’m at work?

My parents tell me there’s nothing to worry about, but my brain disagrees. It’s full of panic and dread every single day.


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The heart palpitations are back. The rapid breathing is back. The negative thinking is back. And I have accepted that.

I learned how to live with anxiety before and I know I can do it again.

There are days when I let my anxiety take over because I simply don’t have the energy to fight it, but one thing I’ll always remind myself of is that I am stronger than it, even on those days when I just want to give up.

I have accepted my anxiety. I have accepted the bad days, the panic attacks and the constant worrying, but I never let myself forget that this too shall pass.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this feature you can contact Pieta House 24/7 Helpline 1800 247 247 or the Samaritans Helpline 116 123.



In honour of World Mental Health Day, The Rotunda will deal with the difficult subject of post natal depression in tonight’s emotional episode.

Tonight, we meet mum-to-be Ciara and her husband PJ who are preparing to welcome their second child into the world.

The couple are obviously excited about the pending arrival of their baby, but Ciara is worried she may have a relapse of the post natal depression she had after the birth of her first child.

It is thought as many as one in six mums experience post natal depression, although the figure could be higher. Mums tend to minimise or hide these feelings from family and friends as long as they can. Many have an unfounded fear that people will judge them or that social services will become involved. Many think they are alone in suffering with this, whereas nothing could be further from the truth.

Ciara’s story is one that resonates with many of us mums. Her courage and strength is beyond admirable. Sharing your struggles with the public isn’t easy, but it will help tackle the stigma.

Also on tonight’s episode of The Rotunda are young couple Sophie and Daryl, who don’t know the sex of their unborn child but their choice of names is proving confusing for midwife Veronica.

Mum-of-two Daniela is wondering if childbirth will be any easier this time around though it’s been 13 years since she had her last child.

Opera singer Ioana meanwhile is hoping the time spent at breastfeeding classes will be a help once her first baby is born.

The Rotunda continues tonight at 9.30pm on RTÉ2


Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran have teamed up for a special World Mental Health Day video. The prince and the popstar hope the video will help beat the stigma surrounding mental health.

The hilarious clip, which was filmed in Kensington Palace, sees Ed arrive at Harry’s home.

Harry joked that it was like looking in a mirror when he answered the door to the Shape of You singer.

They both sit down to discuss what they can do to help raise awareness about mental health, but it looks like Ed has the completely wrong idea.


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“This for me, is a subject and a conversation that is just not talked about often enough, I think people all over the world are really suffering,” says Harry.

Ed explains that he is planning on writing a song to help raise awareness, but not about the issue Harry had in mind.

The singer quips, “That’s exactly what I’m trying to do, people just don’t understand what it's like for people like us. With the jokes, the snide comments, I just feel like it’s time that we stood up and we’re not going to take this anymore. We’re ginger and we’re going to fight.”

Ed Sheeran's ideas to change the perception of people with 'Moroccan sunset' hair

Harry replies, “Okay, that’s slightly awkward. There might have been a miscommunication but this is about World Mental Health Day.”

The Perfect singer then erases the words ‘gingers unite’ from the word document on his laptop.

The video ends with Harry and Ed urging people to talk and to listen to those suffering with their mental health.

The witty video is the perfect way to remind people of World Mental Health Day. “Both Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran want to ensure that not just today but every day, you look after yourself, your friends and those around you.

“There’s no need to suffer in silence – share how you’re feeling, ask how someone is doing and listen for the answer. Be willing to ask for help when you need it and know that we are all in this together,” the caption read.

They also added numerous mental health charities and resources that people can reach out to.



For many suffering with their mental health, World Mental Health Day ois just another day – because your mental health doesn't stop to reflect on itself just because the world is raising awareness for it. 

However, many celebrities and influencers are taking the opportunity today to share their tales of mental illness, and former The Saturday's band member Frankie Bridge did just that. 

The talented singer and mum of two took to Instagram to give her almost 1 million followers an insight into a dark time she struggled with during her time in the 00s girl group. 


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The band defined an era of pop music for their young fans, but Frankie revealed that some days, she faced an uphill battle with her emotions despite her roaring success.

'Most of you will probably look at this picture and just see two good friends walking along holding hands… but the truth is she was practically holding me up… we’d just done a gig that I had forced myself to be “Frankie from The Saturdays” for. I had got to the hotel that morning. Shut all the curtains. Got into bed. Under the covers and sobbed for hours alone,' she wrote. 

'It felt an effort to breathe. To be alive. Let alone to get on a stage. Paint on a smile and dance and sing to happy songs!'


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'This was one of the first times my anxiety and depression had become so out of control that I couldn’t hide it from the people around me anymore… none of us ever really know what others are going through and a picture doesn’t always speak a thousand words… especially these days!'

'Remember youre not alone and things aren’t always what they seem….'


Today is World Mental Health Day, and in an effort to raise awareness of the it, Twitter users have been sharing their own thoughts and experiences with mental health and psychiatric illness.

From offering advice on navigating periods of illness to sharing insights on the importance of tackling the issue in the workplace, Twitter users have been vocal, and will continue to be so throughout the day.

Removing the stigma of mental health issues is the name of the game, and Twitter is on top of it.


He may be one of our favourite Geordie Shore cast members, but when his conversation topics generally revolve around bars, booze and birds, it's hard to get a proper insight into the lad behind the party-boy persona.

It looks, however, like his decision to open up about his own personal experience of ADHD and hypomania has given the public a perspective on the Geordie lad they may not have had before now.

In honour of World Mental Health Day, the Celebrity Big Brother winner revealed that growing up with the condition was at times difficult, but insists he feels better able to control the symptoms as an adult.

"It’s a weird thing ADHD, because it is actually good in some ways. But when you’re a kid, it can be really bad, especially for concentration."

As a kid, I would just get side-tracked, I couldn’t sit still, I’d get so worked up and I’d cry and I’d go mad, or I’d lose my temper," he continued.

"But now that I’m an adult, it’s more controlled and it’s really good, because that’s like when you see me on Geordie Shore, running about the place, tidying up and always full of energy."

In spite of this, however, the reality star admits there have been times when he's become upset by the condition and allowed his frustration to get the better of him while filming scenes for the popular MTV show.

"There’s loads of moments on Geordie Shore you wouldn’t have seen where I’ve been upset, especially with ADHD. I’ve got so worked up when I’ve been drunk that I’ve actually started crying because I’ve been that annoyed, and I’ve had to run out the house," he explained.

Congratulating his friend and co-star for opening up about his struggles, Gaz took to Twitter, writing: "Proud of you, bro."

Scotty's followers have been quick to thank the star for helping to remove the stigma associated with the condition, with one writing: "Nice to hear older people speak out about it. My 9yr old son has it and ASD and its hard! People don't understand him."

"It's nice to see you speak openly about this condition. My son has ADHD and there are too many people who label him "naughty"," added another.

Fair play, Scotty.


Today, October 10, is officially World Mental Health Day. While it’s great to have one day a year dedicated to raising awareness, the mental health conversation is one that we should be having every day.

The stigma and confusion surrounding the issue of depression make it a difficult thing to come to terms with – not only for sufferers, but for their friends and family too.

For the day that’s in it, here are five common myths about depression that we all need to stop believing. The sooner we can accept that our mental health is just as significant as our physical health, the better.

1. Being depressed is the same thing as being sad
Yes, an overwhelming feeling of sadness is a very common symptom of depression. But that’s as far as the similarities go. Sadness is something that comes and goes and can often be related to events in our daily life. Depression is an ongoing condition that can’t just fade away on its own.

2. Depression is not an illness
Just because symptoms can vary or there is no one cure-all magic potion doesn’t mean that depression is not a sickness or a disease. The factors causing depression are outside of our control and can affect sufferers on every level – mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s not just a state of mind. Insisting that it is only serves to make people with depression feel that their struggle is insignificant.

3. It’s always caused by a sad or traumatic incident in our life
Situations like bereavements, heartbreak, and times of great change can leave even the most emotionally healthy person feeling vulnerable, low and empty. However while bouts of depression can be triggered by certain events, true depression will generally recur frequently, with symptoms lasting at least two weeks each time.

4. It’s all in your head
Depression can manifest itself in countless physical ways; lack of appetite, insomnia, even muscle aches and chest pains. Telling someone to “stay positive” or “cheer up” is not the answer – it only drives home the myth that depression is something that has a quick and easy fix.

5. Talking will make it worse
Yes, opening up about depression or broaching the subject with someone you suspect may be suffering can be awkward or uncomfortable. The sufferer may not respond well or even want to talk about it for fear of burdening others with their problems. That does not mean that talking about depression is a bad idea – it’s the only way to get rid of the stigma surrounding the issue. Proactive, constructive and positive conversations can make all the difference.