A well-known Donegal priest has spoken openly about the issue of suicide and depression and says people do not have a choice if they decide to end their own lives.
Fr Michael Carney used his emotive words as part of a homily at the funeral mass of a young woman who died recently.
Fr Carney, parish priest at St Mary’s Church in Ramelton, said depression has to be viewed as an illness similar to any other condition such as heart failure.
And he pleaded with the public to realise that the condition robs people of any real free choice.
He said that in the end the young woman was wearied and exhausted by a condition that “buffeted her relentlessly and burgled her of so much that was her.”
He said what happened to the young woman was “not done by her free choice.”
“It became increasingly difficult for her to negotiate the emotional and psychological stresses brought on by the burden of her illness – particularly in these last two years.
“What happened to (her) was not done by her free choice.
She passed from this world against her will in the same way a person with cancer or a stroke dies against their will.”
He added that she had battled an “insidious illness in her life” and was a person of extraordinary sensitivity and goodness.
He said “Her debilitating illness had long since robbed her of the many faceted calculations that create clear decision-making.
“There is no more freedom or responsibility involved here than there is in a death due to heart failure or any other disease.
“A good person is a good person and a sad death does not change that.”
Fr Carney said his heart goes out to anyone who suffers because of depression or an allied condition.
But he stressed that help is out there.
He pleaded to people suffering in silence “Please reach out and seek the assistance of the many agencies and professionals that are out there.
“If that is beyond you at this stage, please talk to someone you love or who loves you within your family or circle of friends. Life beats us up and we bruise easily.
“We can have any set of reactions to what we go through – from anger to despair. It’s important to articulate what’s hidden and bring it into the light of objective consideration.
“Nothing is beyond understanding – anything that is mentionable is manageable.”
If you are affected by any issue in this article, please contact Pieta House on 1800-247247 or the Samaritans by telephoning 116123 (free) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org