ARN’s Will McMahon on coping with depression
Last week, ARN National Drive host Will missed his show with Woody after the latter noticed something in his partner at a planning meeting.
“I was offering nothing, not looking at anybody, just staring at the ground,” Will tells SMH. “Woody said to me ‘hey mate, are you OK?’ I said ‘yep’. He said ‘no you’re not … time to go home’.”
Returning to work today, Will felt the need to address his absence from the Friday before, because it’s important to explain what happens to remove the stigma around mental illness conversations.
“I was depressed,” he said. “I think it’s important to say that that’s what happened.”
He admits that his partner Woody has had to “massively adapt” top his depression.
“The paradox about the whole thing is: it’s so obvious the way out is through communicating, and to tell people what you’re going through – because you can’t help yourself,” he continues. “And that’s the hardest thing to do in the world.”
Will says that he understands he has influence as a radio host with a national audience, especially being part of a young male duo, so there’s added responsibility to talk about things.
“It’s the sort of courage you get when you’re trying to get to 10 push-ups and you’re at nine,” he tells SMH. “When I’m on the precipice, when I’m about to do it publicly on the mic, there’s that weird invisible barrier of masculinity stymieing my emotions.
He also reveals that he finds it hard to be honest with friends, and finds it easier to talk when he’s not called labelled “brave” for bringing up the topic.
If you know or someone you know is going through a difficult time, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.