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Tag Archives: manic depression

Breaking the mental illness taboo

WHEN Bernie McCarthy thinks about it, she knows that she has the unflinching support of her family and a wide network of friends. Still, her 14-year stand-off with bipolar disorder, manic depression, including bouts of self-harming and severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is an often isolating existence. Those close to her are well aware of the Quilty woman’s mental health issues but, for a passing acquaintance, it’s a shock. Bernie is not someone whom you would ever link with depression or its assorted impacts. In recent weeks, Bernie completed a 17-week counselling programme with Pieta House in Limerick. She found it trying and emotional but is delighted that she stuck with it. “You’d come out and, while it’s a relief, it’s also really draining. You’d be so tired after it. You’re like ‘did I just say all those things?’ Things came out that nobody knew, only me and my counsellor. But you feel better for it,” Bernie reflected candidly last …

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