Health

This Man's Post About Depression Has Been Shared More Than 19,000 Times

April 15th 2016

By:
Taylor Bell

A man's Facebook post about his secret struggle with depression and the stigmas surrounding mental health has been shared more than 19,000 times since it was posted Wednesday.

In an emotional video Facebook post, Irishman Doug Leddin opened up about his 10-year secret battle with depression and the need for mental health sufferers to come forward, despite the social stigmas and fears that often plague them.

"Over the past 10 years I've been living two different lives. The life that my family, my friends, my colleagues, my teammates see. But then there's the life that I see, that I live and that I feel. If you ask my family or friends — what they thought about me — they'll tell you I'm a happy-go-lucky, positive, hard-working and confident guy. But all that's a bit of a lie. See, I'm living a completely different life inside. I'm living the life that suffers immensely with depression."

 

A photo posted by Doug Leddin (@dougleddin) on

He continued.

"And this is so hard for me to talk about but it's not just me. It's impossible for the millions of other people to talk about it. And that's the problem. That's actually the problem with depression."

Leddin has a point. According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, major depressive disorder affects approximately 14 million people and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people ages 15-44. Yet despite the high treatment success rate, nearly 2 out 3 people do not receive or actively seek out proper treatment for depression, according to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

 

A photo posted by Doug Leddin (@dougleddin) on

In the video, Leddin attempts to shine a light about why the majority of mental health sufferers refuse to speak out.

"But what we fear the most isn't the dark place that we are in or the dark times that we're going to go through or what we're capable of doing. What we actually fear the most is that our friends won't understand, that we'll lose them. That our family won't know what we're going through or won't get it. That our colleagues will look at us differently. That we may even lose our jobs. But that's just a stigma that we believe exists inside ourselves. And that honestly isn't the case."

According to Psychology Today, people with mental health disorder were often "treated different, excluded, and even brutalized based on the idea that "mental health sufferers were uncontrollable and violent."

In an email sent to ATTN:, Leddin explained that he hopes his post will encourage others to overcome their fears and seek help.

"If your going through some bad spells, and you are feeling dark alone and scared, remember that you can talk that it is ok, that things can and will get better over time. Seek professional help, talk to your doctor or family and be brave. Take courage and open up. We need to speak up as sufferers. We need to shatter this silence. We need to be brave, take courage, help ourselves and help others to accept each other and ourselves. It's the only way we will learn to love ourselves."