“I really debated talking about this tonight with you because I’m going to tell you something and everybody watching that i didn’t even tell my mam until 2 hours ago when I rang her because I knew I was going to say it to you which is that a friend of mine said to me ‘look Al if you’re not enjoying everything that you’re getting and you’re having a great time, having a great life and winning all these things and having this fabulous time making everyone laugh, then maybe it’s not your circumstances, maybe it’s a physical thing. Maybe it’s an imbalance. Go to a Doctor”. So i went to a Doctor, and I wouldn’t even go to my own family Doctor as I was afraid. I went to a Doctor in Carlow so I could go outside of Dublin. And he said look you need antidepressants and I never thought I’d be that person. And nobody in my family would think I would be that person and I said it to my Mam and I said I’m just going to let you know I’m going to talk on Brendan O’Connors (show) about taking antidepressants and I know I haven’t told you this and she said ‘well no you haven’t’ and I’d be hiding them in my house. I have had my friend go and pick them up because I don’t want to have to go in and pick up the prescription. I’ve had the prescription made up in different names to my own and like that stigma I never actually really thought it was real. I had heard people like Bressie – who is a friend of mine – talking about it and kind of going I don’t really get where you’re coming from and then suddenly realising someone as confident as me, I’d tell people anything about myself. Every detail I’m like an open book on stage, radio and in the newspapers and yet i just couldn’t even admit ‘yeah i need those pills they’re going to keep me balanced’. If I can’t cope with that like Jesus knows how someone who doesn’t have the confidence that I have does and is in their bed for three weeks and I mean is going like who am I going to get to go and pick them up for me. At least I have a manager who can”
In an incredibly honest interview with RTE’s CuttingEdge Irish comedy star Al Porter talks about the stigma young men encounter when seeking medical help for depression.