Television presenter Elaine Crowley has spoken for the first time of her battle with depression and the heartache it has caused her and her family.
“I never felt suicidal but I did feel that if a bus ran me over it wouldn’t make any difference.” the host of TV3’s Midday show tells Irish Country magazine.
“I was existing not living. I stopped socialising, I stopped going out and I was avoiding my friends and family. I was coming home from work, getting into bed and staying there until the following morning.
“I’m great at putting on a front so nobody in TV3 suspected a thing and I was in great form on air.”
Elaine, 35, has had dysphoria — a form of depression — for the past six months.
Less than a year ago she spoke about her battle with cancer when she told the Sun newspaper: “My Dad died of liposarcome — a malignant version of what I had. I had a tumour but it was benign, it was about the size of a cup. In the back of my head the experience was quite scary, I might have put my head in the sand somewhat.”
Elaine says she knows how lucky she is to have the support of her friends and family to help her cope with depression.
“My friends and family got me through and I’m so lucky. I’m from Twopothouse, a rural area in Cork, and depression is just not spoken about. You only need to look at the spike in suicides in rural Ireland to see that. We don’t speak about it, the only way we know somebody is depressed in rural Ireland is when they kill themselves, and I was terrified that would happen to me. I was very lucky with my family but some people just can’t tell their families.”
Elaine is conscious that there is still a stigma attached to mental health in Ireland and so refuses to let her experiences define her career, saying she refuses to become a “professional depressive”.
“It’s easy to become a martyr to your difficulties, but this will not define me.”
* Elaine’s full interview about her depression appears in the June/July issue of Irish Country magazine.
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