Red River College student Kieran Moolchan is open and honest about his mental health struggles. In fact, he bravely told the whole world about his experiences with depression and contemplating suicide on his blog.
“I wanted to help breakdown stigma but I was also reaching out for help,” said Kieran. “I poured my heart out and with one click — I told everyone what was really going on with me.”
The beginning of a long-road
After going public on the Internet with his struggles in August, Kieran received an outpouring of support from friends, acquaintances, college instructors and even people he’d never met. At that time, he decided to seek help from a psychologist and began taking anti-depressants for depression.
Over the next few months, Kieran experienced many ups and downs. Eventually, he was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder — a condition that involves feeling ‘up’ for several weeks at a time and then crashing and feeling extremely low.
In January, Kieran began having suicidal thoughts again and turned to his blog to express how he was feeling. He wrote about how close he had come yet again to taking his own life and about the stigma people with mental illnesses face — a blog post that would receive more than 100,000 views.
About a month later, Kieran spent some time at the Mental Health Crisis Response Centre at the Health Sciences Centre. It was there that it began to sink in that his mental illness was not his fault.
“I finally accepted that I wasn’t a personal failure for feeling the way I did,” said Kieran. “It sunk in that I don’t have control over the chemicals in my body. I also learned that the best thing I can do is come up with plans and that I need to rely on other people to help me make and stick to those plans.”
One day at a time
It’s been several months since Kieran’s visit to the Mental Health Crisis Response Centre and he is making and sticking to his plans. He’s also involving friends to help him stay accountable.
“If I want to go for a run, I’ll phone someone to go with me. If I feel like playing video games for an hour, I’ll text someone to see if they want to join me online. It doesn’t really matter what it is that I’m doing, as long as I commit to it, I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, which helps with my mood and maintaining a positive outlook.”
He’s still at it — check out his latest posts at kieranmoolchan.com