herald

Tuesday 24 April 2018

'If my words help one person then it will be worth it'

BRAVE: John back in the hot seat for 'business as usual'

RTE Radio 1 Radio presenter John Murray. Photo: Brian McEvoy
RTE Radio 1 Radio presenter John Murray. Photo: Brian McEvoy

PRESENTER John Murray has spoken of his hope that other sufferers might benefit from his frank admissions about suffering from depression.

Returning to his RTE Radio One Show after six months, the 49-year-old spoke movingly about the "the dread and anxiety" which had kept him off air.

The comments sparked thousands of calls and emails to RTE with the broadcaster widely praised for his honesty.

Admirers tweeted: "How do you do a standing ovation on Twitter?" and, "It can't have been easy to talk about your depression but you will have saved lives".

Speaking to the Herald last night, Mr Murray revealed: "If my words help even one person going through a tough time it will have been worth it". But the father-of-two stressed that having addressed his health problems, he now wants to get on with the show. He added: "I'm relieved and delighted to have that first show over. I want to thank everyone who called in to wish me well but it will be business as usual from tomorrow."

During his on-air chat, the RTE star talked about how he had been stuck down by the illness last April.

 

ANXIETY

He said: "One minute I am happily presenting this show and enjoying life.

"The next I am gripped by dread and anxiety with the simplest task proving beyond me. Those with experience know depression doesn't just drop in and say a quick hello and head for the hills. Or at least my kind didn't.

"No, it took a fancy to me and decided to take up residence for a few months, and boy did it make its presence felt." But the former Government press secretary revealed how listeners' concerns helped him though the dark days.

He added: "I discovered I had in my arsenal a secret weapon, you the listener. I am so grateful to everyone who took the time and trouble to write to me, send me get well soon cards and Mass cards.

Mr Murray also thanked his wife Miriam, and "two great children" Stephen and Katherine, and family.

In a personal message to sufferers, he said: "Everyone is different but I will say don't be too hard on yourself.

"Finally can I say to anyone who knows someone who is depressed, don't be afraid to contact them, they might not reply immediately or at all, but boy will they appreciate that someone is thinking of them, I know I did."

ksweeney@herald.ie

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