Since Doug Leddin posted an emotional short film about his battle with depression on Facebook yesterday evening, it been viewed over half a million times and has gone super viral, and deservedly so. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out at the link below.
Leddin has lent his voice to the growing national conversation about mental health joining well known faces like Bressie and the Rubberbandits, both of whom have been particularly vocal in terms of criticizing the Government’s response to what is undoubtably a mental health epidemic in this country and working hard to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Leddin touches on these issues in his tearful address. He explains that those suffering with mental illness often fear being misunderstood whether by co-workers, employers, friends or family and often suffer in silence, hiding their struggle; ‘The Double Life’.
‘If you asked my family or friends what they thought about me they’d probably tell you that I’m a happy-go-lucky, positive, hard-working and confident guy. But all that’s a bit of a lie. You see, I’m living a completely different life inside. I’m living the life of someone who suffers immensely with depression. And this is so hard for me to talk about, but it’s not just me’.
In taking this brave step, Leddin challenges others to do the same. This is particularly poignant as it is precisely his demographic who are most affected by depression and mental illness. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than their female counterparts. Last year 550 people took their own lives in this country. I’ll leave you to do the maths.
‘The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. How can we expect to find an answer when we’re still afraid of the question?’ he asks.
With 1 in 10 Irish people currently suffering from mental health issues, everyone has a role to play in the fight against depression and mental illness and its high time we all stepped up. We need to shine a light into the darkest corners and we need to do it together.
‘We need to speak up if we’re suffering in silence it’s the only way we’re going to beat the stigma it’s the only way we’re gonna help ourselves and help each other’.