Breakdown leads to Breakthrough

by Cillian Keane

When I was 19 years old, I was diagnosed with a Mental illness called Bipolar Disorder.

I was in University in Galway at the time, studying for my BA (International) Degree. For the first year of college, I honestly didn’t know what I was going through, as nobody knew much or spoke around the topic of Mental Health, or even Mental Health problems.

All of the feelings and emotions were new to me, ranging from the manic state of Bipolar to the low depressive states.

Around this time, I went from being really extroverted and sociable to becoming isolated and alone.

I felt these dark clouds over my head were going to be lingering on me forever.

I knew I had to do something to get back to normal and live my life on my own terms. I had to battle my way back every single day.

Over the last few years, I have put myself out there to tell my Mental Health story in the hope that it helps people out there and gives them that glimmer of hope.

It has been a long road of setbacks and struggles to get to where I am today, and I am beyond proud of all that I have achieved.

From being at rock bottom to being able to speak about it today makes me feel empowered that I can make a difference in other people’s life.

I want to continue spreading a positive message that no matter what struggles you go through; you can still live a very happy, meaningful and productive life.

Becoming braver in telling my story has made me really see how impactful it can be for those who are going through a tough time.

It was certainly not easy to speak about it, but as a 33-year-old male, my aim is to make the topic of mental health problems normalized and for others to have the courage to speak about their own problems.

Since I have opened up on the topic of Mental Health, so many have resonated with my story.

We all struggle from time to time, but what happens when you feel that life is not going the way you had planned?

You need to realise that you are never alone.

You also need to realise that there is so much help and support out there that can get you back to where you need to be.

There are so many people out there that you can confide in when going through a difficult period.

You are much stronger than you can imagine.

I am a big believer in anything you set your mind to you can achieve. The mind is a powerful tool that you can build up stronger every single day.

I am living proof that you can go on to achieve great things. If I can do it, you can too.


Minding our mental health during COVID-19

Registered Charity Number 20204828 / CHY 22724

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