Local comedian Al Porter is getting a lot of praise online since he opened up about his mental health on RTÉ’s Cutting Edge last night.
Porter left host Brendan O Connor genuinely surprised when he told him he suffers from depression and was taking medication to deal with it. He had only told his mother the same thing just before his appearance on the programme.
“I am going to tell you something now that I didn’t even tell my mam until two hours ago, when I rang her because I knew I was going to say it to you,” he said before moving on to discuss anti-depressants.
— Cutting Edge (@CuttingEdgeRTE) November 16, 2016
He said it was after a friend suggested he may be suffering from a chemical imbalance that he decided to take action.
Even though he had taken this positive step, he still felt the stigma around depression in this country to such an extent that he decided to go to a doctor in Carlow in case anyone in Dublin found out. This fear also led him to do other things like hiding his medication. He said:
“I have been hiding them in my house, I have had my friend pick them up because I didn’t want to go in with the prescription.
“I’ve got them prescribed under a different name because I didn’t want to use my own,
“I never thought I’d be that person”.
After sharing that revelation he then took the pills out of his pocket and showed the other panellists. “I take one tiny tablet a day,” he said.
“All I needed to do was go to a doctor get told that I needed these, these are Lexapro they’re only 10mg, I got given them and I take one tiny tablet a day.
“I’ve been doing it a few months and I’m functioning much better.
“It’s changed my life, that’s all I needed.
“The thing is, to anybody who’s watching, if you need them go. If I need them in a year I’ll still need them in a year.”