Health in the Media

This blog looks at health issues in the news

Depression on the Rise in Ireland

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The topic of depression hit the headlines today as Niall Quinn spoke out about how his wife Gillian stood by him during a period of crippling depression after quitting football. The soccer legend, who was a close friend of the late Gary Speed, fell into what he described as “a dark area” following his retirement from the sport at 35. He said of the time, “People were ringing and I was getting job offers and I wouldn’t even answer the phone.”

According to a recent study by Central Statistics Office’s published in June, the number of suicides registered in Ireland rose to 525 in 2011, which is an increase of 7 per cent on the previous year. A total of 439 men and 86 women were recorded as having taken their own lives, the majority of whom were aged 15-44 however. President of the Irish Association of Suicidology (IAS) Dan Neville TD says the figure would be closer to 600 if “undetermined” deaths were accounted for.

While Mr Neville said figures were “frightening” he also said he was not surprised by them due to the devastating effect the recession has had on many people’s lives. “The recession has had a huge impact on people’s wellbeing. Those who lose their jobs experience a drastic reduction in their income or are in danger of losing their home experience a lot of anxiety, despair and depression. Relationship difficulties and marriage breakdown can follow on from that. We should be identifying and responding to these problems in the community as quickly as possible.”


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Cult Gigolo via Flickr


Dr Cogan who is a GP in Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath told Health in the Media, “I get a lot of people coming to me with depression. Some of the most common symptoms of depression are an inability to work, lack of personal relationships and suicidal tendencies.”

Old people in particular can be extremely susceptible to depression. Dr Cogan told Health in the Media, “Elderly people living alone that don’t see anybody all week can be more prone to depression than others. Their family may be too busy to see them and forget about them especially over the colder months.”

If you feel that you may have depression contact the Samaritans on 1850 60 90 90, visit or contact your GP

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