Letter to the Editor: Countering depression and thoughts of suicide

Letter to the Editor: Countering depression and thoughts of suicide

This time of year, in the long nights of winter in our northern hemisphere, is when people may be more vulnerable to depression or suicidal thoughts.

If someone ends their life, they will be grieved by relatives, friends, close neighbours, work colleagues, college, or school friends.

Pieta House, as one example, has a good record of helping — as best they can — a person through depression.

Books which may be helpful include interviews first heard on national public radio in the US, Listening With Love, edited by Dave Isay (Penguin/Plume Imprint USA, 2010). It tells of people’s experiences of the good and the hard times and how we are our history, individually and collectively.

The second is Between Breaths by American journalist and broadcaster Elizabeth Vargas, (Little Brown & Co, USA, 2017), on her slow descent into alcohol addiction, partly caused by a busy career, raising a family and undiagnosed or untreated anxiety.

She wrote it during her first year of giving up alcohol, while her memories were still fresh. It has been described as honest and hopeful.

The third is a bit unusual and looks at improving depression, mood, and energy — The Happy Kitchen by Alice MacIntosh.

It relates her experience of feeling better by improving her diet, and has meal ideas and life tips.

The fourth is by popular New Zealand-born rugby commentator Brent Pope, living in Ireland for years and who has struggled with anxiety most of his life.

He wrote, with his psychotherapist friend Jason Brennan, Win: Proven Strategies for Success in Sport, Life and Mental Health (Hachette Books Ireland, 2019).

These books can be ordered online from Bookdepository in the UK.

YouTube is also a great source of information and where the late American actor Robin Williams can be seen talking about his experiences with depression.

  • See: [url=https://pieta.ie/pieta.ie[/url]; call 1800 247247 for the nearest Pieta House;
  • samaritans.org/ireland; Freephone 116 123 can be phoned any time day or night and they have an email service;
  • psychotherapycouncil.ie for details on private therapists.

The advantage of going private is an appointment is available quickly or in a few weeks;

  • St Vincent de Paul may be able to offer financial help in an emergency;
  • Threshold with its national free helpline 1800 454 454 help people in a rent crisis and will try to negotiate with a landlord.

There are many other support groups too, around the country.

Mary Sullivan
College Rd
Cork

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