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22nd Nov 2022

“The stigma does exist”: Elaine Crowley on the struggle to speak out about mental health

Ellen Fitzpatrick

“I have been treated differently by a lot of people because of it.”

Ireland AM presenter Elaine Crowley has opened up about how she was warned against speaking openly and publically about her mental health.

Elaine was diagnosed with dysphoria by a psychiatrist when she was 36 years old, which is a condition that brings a lot of depression and a profound sense of unease and discontent.

The presenter suffered with her mental health since she was young, Elaine has since spoken publically about her journey.

Appearing on The Six O’Clock Show last night, Elaine spoke about her struggle.

Karen Koster asked if she had been worried about speaking out about her own experience, to which she replied: “Absolutely.”

She went on to discuss it more, saying: “Sure I was told before I did – because you know before this I had The Elaine Show, before that I had Midday.

“And you’d be talking about your life openly and expecting others to do the same with you.

“I actually felt like such a hypocrite because I was going through all of this and people were sharing the most harrowing stories with me and I said ‘Listen I have to open up’.”

Speaking about how she was warned that it could have a negative impact on her career, Elaine went on to say: “Aisling O’Toole, who was the editor of Irish Country Magazine at the time, I trusted her. It’s hard to trust somebody with a story like this because a lot of the headlines can be quite sensationalised and a bit cutting.

“So I talked about it but I was warned by a few people ‘You know, this could be the end of your career, you’ll be treated differently.

“And I have been treated differently by a lot of people because of it. The stigma does exist.

“It’s been about ten years now since I started talking about it.

“If you fessed up basically to the fact you had a depressive illness, you were stigmatised and I think it still does happen.”