Nicole Coughlan, 33, is an Irish actress best known for her portrayal of Clare Devlin in the smash hit Derry Girls on Channel 4. The comedic genius laid bare her soul and opened up about the major struggles she faced before hitting the big time in hopes to remove the stigma often faced with the disorder. What is it and what are the symptoms to spot?
The actress struggled financially before landing the iconic role on Derry Girls and said in an interview with Glamor: “I hadn’t had an audition in about a year.
“I had no money in my bank account, so I had to move back in with my parents.
“I was so depressed, and it was so hard. It was a very slow recuperation from that.
“I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt like I failed at everything. I felt like I had nothing, and I had let my family down.
“You think all these terrible things about yourself and that was made worse because I had taken out a loan and I just kept thinking about being in financial debt.”
The actress recalls how her disease made her feel like she wasn’t good enough with self-destructive thoughts making her depression spiral even further.
She added: “I started to think — and it’s such a dangerous mindset — that I didn’t want to be around people because I didn’t want to make them feel down.
“I thought if I went out with my friends, I’d be the worthless person in the corner — but that’s such a dangerous way of thinking.”
Nicole’s family were her lifeline during that dark time and helped her regain her sense of self-worth.
Nicole says she found her “sense of purpose again” thanks to her incredibly supportive family, praising her sister who refused to give up on her by “dragging her out of bed” and outdoors for a run.
“Stuff like that gave me a sense of purpose again and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
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A survey by Dr Aaron Beck revealed that over 80 percent of depressed people expressed dislike for themselves.
According to Dr Beck, when you are depressed, you feel “The Four Ds” including feeling defeated, defective, deserted, and deprived.
Dr Beck advises ways to help overcome this self-defeating mental habit, which include:
Train yourself to recognise and write down the self-critical thoughts as they race through your mind.
Learn why these thoughts are distorted; and
Practice talking back to them so as to develop a more realistic self-evaluation system.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling tearful
- Feeling guilt-ridden
- Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- Having no motivation or interest in things
- Finding it difficult to make decisions
- Not getting any enjoyment out of life
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
Nicole is now in a much better place but still highlights the importance of opening up to others when feeling down.
“We need to stop the stigma. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have talked about it but I’m not ashamed at all,” the actress said.
“I could certainly feel that way again. The more open we are, we realise it’s not unusual and there’s a way out of it.
“It’s so easy to think you’ll feel like that forever.”
If you think you have the symptoms of depression, speak to your GP.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
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