Michael Torrens tells of his battle with depression

SEVERE depression is a burden and even a threat for far more people than realise it, Gympie rugby league identity Michael Torrens said this week.

Mr Torrens revealed his battle with what he says can be more than a dark mood and even a threat to life.

And it doesn't matter what your external circumstances are.

"Robin Williams couldn't take it anymore. Like a lot of people, he self-medicated with alcohol and drugs. Some people just never get their mind into that happy place.

"The darkness never lifts," he said.

Mr Torrens has a lot of energy for a person suffering such a debilitating condition, working full time and being vice president of Seniors Rugby League, manager for the A-grade team, the under-18s and juniors and active in promoting and fundraising for the sport.

He says sporting activities can give people a chance to help those who may be suffering a crisis or who may suffer more permanent difficulties.

Suicide, he says is the shock that puts doubt into a lot of people's minds.

And sometimes the darkest hour is just before the dawn.

"There's a fine balance between keeping sport fun for the kids who just want to play footy with their mates and developing the ones who are trying to go further.

"I suffer from depression. I'm medicated by a doctor for it. I've seen a therapist for it.

"I hit a pretty low point a few years ago in my emotions.

"I sought help. Looking back, I should have sought help a long time ago. I've suffered ups and downs for as long as I remember.

"I'm now pretty happy.

"Was there an issue I fixed to get happy? No. No event and no person.

"My lifestyle had nothing to do with it. My brain just lacks a few chemicals that keep you balanced."

Mr Torrens says he is there for anyone who suffers as he has. "If anyone finds they're lost in the darkness, grab my hand, because I know the way out," he said.

Gympie Times

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