Meet Doug from Rathfarnham, Dublin
On December 3rd, 2012 Doug's life changed forever. He was driving his friends home from the airport when a 24 tonne truck hit the back of his car. He was pushed into a roundabout and cars hit him from both sides. He closed his eyes and thought he was about to die. At the same time this was the first moment in his life he realised he wanted to live.
Doug was diagnosed with depression as a teenager. After his parents discovered he had an eating disorder, aged 14, they brought him to doctors, nutritionalists and eventually he ended up at St John of Gods. For the next ten years Doug battled with the medication, suicidal thoughts and trying to pretend everything was okay. He didn't enjoy studying so decided to go straight into work at 18. He started working in Bars and Nightclubs to forge his own way into marketing and PR. This he has done with great success. His work with An Púcán in Galway has resulted in the bar winning numerous national awards over the last few years.
On April 3rd 2016, Doug's world changed again. After three years of counselling Doug felt ready to tell his friends. He was afraid of the unknown; worried about how people might view him and treat him differently once they knew he suffered from depression. He couldn't tell everyone individually so he thought he would enlist the help of one of his friends and make a video. He posted it on his private Facebook account for his friends to see. He switched off his phone and laptop and went to the gym for three hours. He had a great sense of personal relief for those three hours. He had finally done it. When he turned his phone back on he was inundated with messages. The video had been seen 7,000 times and shared hundreds. Over the next few days it went viral. The video has now been seen millions of times throughout the world. Even Ashton Kutcher shared it on his Facebook page.
Doug was overwhelmed by the level of support he received and realised he had nothing to be afraid of. This is the message he now wants to share. If you are suffering from depression, talk to your friends and family.
If you haven't seen Doug's video you can watch it here