Macroom woman Meghan Moloney’s depression led to her dropping out of college, self-harm and a suicide attempt. But her online blog has helped her to confront the condition and find help. And now it’s helping others, too, reports Áilín Quinlan
A WEST Cork blogger’s story of depression has attracted more than 1,000 views and messages of support from around the world.
Meghan Moloney, who first began to experience the condition at 16, and believes it may have contributed to a later decision to drop out of her college bio-medical engineering course, recently blogged about her depression and also shared it on her Facebook page in a determined bid to help others going through a similar experience.
The 20-year-old from Macroom, whose condition led to self-harm and even a failed suicide attempt before she confided in her Mum and her friends at around age 17, believes it’s crucial for sufferers not to keep the condition a secret.
The blog received a positive response, with even people she didn’t know messaging her to say they were going through much the same experience as she had and that her blog had helped them cope. ‘They said it helped them to know that others were going through it. A few people messaged me to say that my blog had inspired them to speak out about their own depression and to recognise that it was nothing to be ashamed of.
‘That was exactly what I had hoped it would achieve. I never knew it would get such a big response – to date the blog has had more than 1,000 views.
‘This blog was not about me,’ she emphasises.
‘I just wanted my experience of depression to be of help to other people.’
Currently working as a shop assistant, Meghan, who now plans to begin a beauty therapy course in September 2017, says that when she first became depressed she had no idea what was wrong.
‘I just felt down, But then as it went on I realised something wasn’t right. I had no motivation to do anything, whether it was my schoolwork or meeting my friends,’ she recalls.
‘I was always a quiet person and I never talked about it to anyone. After several months I felt there was something not right. I was self-harming at that time. Following a failed suicide attempt at the age of 17, I confided in my mother who brought me to see a counsellor and that helped. I had bottled it up for so long, for over a year, but I found that talking to someone about it helped.
She says talking specifically to her mother and her friends helped even more. Currently she is not seeing a counsellor and is not on medication, and is doing well.
‘It’s still there, but looking at where I used to be, it’s much better. I found that as soon as I started talking about it, things changed.’
She wrote the blog in October, to show people how ‘nobody knows what anyone is going through’.
‘I want to show people that it is okay to talk about it, it’s not something you should be ashamed of.’
In her blog, entitled A Letter to Depression, Meghan talks directly to her depression, about how she is always aware that the condition may return at any moment.
‘I never forget about you. Sure, there are days when I am laughing with friends or just chilling at home by myself and all is well in my mind until you pop up again out of the blue and my world comes crashing down. How could I forget you when there is mention of you all around us.’
She also recalls how the mental health condition impacted on her day-to-day-life.
‘There was a time when I would “sleep in” a little too late after staying up all night until the sun would rise and the birds would sing, you would keep me up all night overthinking and over analysing. …
‘I would then sleep the day away in order to avoid you just for a while … every time I look down at my arms I am reminded of you and that dark place I used to be in.
Why won’t you just go away? But why did I ever feel ashamed of my scars? Why did I ever feel the need to keep it all bottled up for fear I would be a burden to someone who might find out, or have someone notice my scars in shock because it was disgusting or ugly?’
‘To whoever is reading this and has ever felt lost, unwanted, struggled or is struggling in any way – Even a simple chat with a family member, a friend, someone you trust can help much more than you would ever imagine. You are not a burden to whoever you are sharing your thoughts with. For a problem shared is a problem halved.
‘Never be ashamed of what you are going through. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, you should be proud of yourself, you are so strong. There is light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to keep on reaching for it.’