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Wednesday 30th, 16:57pm
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: Wednesday 30th September 2009


Mary McEvoy spoke candidly on TV3’s Midday today about her battle with depression. The actress revealed she has been on anti-depressants for 15 years.

When Mary was asked about when she first took anti-depressants, she stated: “When I had cried every day for seven years and I suddenly realised, I used to think that I was someone who couldn’t pull myself together and that I was generally just a weak person, eventually I came to the thing that I had no quality of life.”

Mary stated that she suffered every day for seven years before she took action: “It might be for 3 minutes, it might be for 5 minutes, but every day I would feel grief of that kind, for seven years. Eventually I just decided I had no quality of life.”

Mary revealed that she did try counselling: “It illuminated certain things but I was still left with what I felt. It’s a very complex subject, not everything is true for everybody, but I do think that knowing sometimes that your aunt fanny hit you when you were 3, and that’s why you’re depressed, doesn’t necessarily lift the depression. I personally think I am clinically depressed, I don’t know, but there were other aspects to it too.”

The actress went on to describe what the depression felt like: “How I would describe moderate depression, is that if you have a cut on your hand and it stings and then every morning somebody gets up and they put salt in it, that’s what its like. It’s not something incapacitating, but its something that’s so hard to live with, and you’ve no quality of life.”

The Glenroe favourite, spoke about when the anti-depressants started working for her: “I was in Paris, my partner played with Mary Black at the time, we were in this little café in Gard du Nord with all our friends, after the gig, and I suddenly sat and thought…I want to sit here and talk to these people, I don’t want to go back to the hotel and go to bed, I don’t want to watch the television so people don’t talk to me, I don’t feel embarrassed bout talking to these people, I actually feel normal. And that was like ecstasy just to feel normal…for the first time in seven years.”

She added: “That went on and I have been on and off them for 15 years, I’m still taking them, even though people talk about it, there is still a stigma attached. I have no shame about it; there is no shame to it. If I had diabetes I’d talk about talking insulin, if I had arthritis I’d talk, why can’t I talk about the emotional thing, what’s wrong with that?”

The Midday panel were discussing a report from the Women’s Health Council which found women are twice as likely as men to be prescribed benzodiazepines for ‘non-clinical’ symptoms such as stress, grief, physical pain or adjustment to a major life change.

On that subject Mary said: “Most women feel stress because they don’t have any time or they don’t have any money, or both. A lot of the therapies that are not medical require either time and money or both and they don’t have them. You have to have some quality of life and some ability to cope with what you’ve already got.”

Mary concluded: “I’m going to try another talking therapy to see if that would help because obviously I’d like not to take depressants.”


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