Al Porter on how he coped with his mental health issues: “I did a bit of psychoanalysis…but it didn’t help me get a handle on my life”

He exclusively reveals in this month's VIP Magazine how he overcame his demons.

Al has spoken honestly about his mental health journey. PIC: Kieran Harnett.
Al has spoken honestly about his mental health journey. PIC: Kieran Harnett.

Al Porter recently revealed that he has struggled with depression. The comedian appeared on The Cutting Edge with Brendan O’Connor last month and admitted to the nation that he’s taken anti-depressants to help him with this mental health issues.

Tallaght native Al considers himself to be an open book, but this was the first time that he had spoken publicly about his personal battle. Now, in an exclusive interview with VIP Magazine, the 23-year-old honestly discusses the process he went through to get his mental health back on track, and why he felt this was the right time for him to speak out.

“Because I’m probably in the best place emotionally and mentally than I’ve been in a good while. So I felt able to talk about it with the right perspective. When you’re going through it, you can’t see the wood for the trees, and you might say something you don’t mean because you aren’t feeling right.

Pic: Kieran Harnett.
He tried different things to help him cope. Pic: Kieran Harnett.

“I did a bit of psychoanalysis, which I found a very enjoyable and engaging process. It’s like tennis for your mind. You go back and forth with somebody and you might unearth some gem of self discovery that you can use for material.

“But it didn’t help me get a handle on my life. What did that was anti-depressants, and listening more, both to my body and other people. When you’re young, you think you know everything,” he said.

Al is adamant that his experience with depression hasn’t changed him, and he’s still as funny as ever. He also admitted that his on stage persona is very true to life for him. He is a naturally camp person, and he doesn’t pretend to be anyone else.

He's still as camp as ever, and his on stage persona isn't a persona at all! PIC: Kieran Harnett.
He’s still as camp as ever, and his on stage persona isn’t a persona at all! PIC: Kieran Harnett.

“If you come to my kitchen in the morning and I’m there in my slippers, chances are you might see a rendition of Shirley Bassey or Tina Turner. I’ve always been camp.

“I can’t hammer home enough, whether it comes to mental health issues, or issues of being a working class person, or issues around sexuality or whatever, my opinion means nothing.

“I only represent myself. It’s a very natural thing for me to be camp, and if that bothers someone else who is gay and isn’t camp, or someone else who thinks that camp is a negative stereotype, well then that probably lies more with their self-esteem than mine,” he said.

You can catch the full interview with Al Porter in this month’s VIP Magazine, on shelves now.

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