Ciara Kelly has revealed she contemplated suicide after receiving “shocking” online abuse.
In an article for the Sunday Independent’s Life Magazine, the Irish presenter recalled her first “Twitter pile-on” back in 2015, where she was trolled after criticising a weight-loss leader on Operation Transformation for drinking.
“Over three days, I got thousands of messages. I was vilified and even threatened. It was nothing like I’d ever experienced. It shook me,” the former medical doctor wrote.
Ciara said the “final straw” came after the backlash she received for criticising an unnamed woman for throwing a smoothie at Leo Varadkar.
“I left Twitter at that point because I couldn’t take any more. It wasn’t just the awful things being said, it was more the utter indifference to the pain these posts were causing myself and my family. Seeing that side of people was weirdly soul-destroying.”
“I’ve never felt so low. I thought about walking into the sea. I read about Caroline Flack and I identified with her so strongly that I frightened myself. I have never felt that way before.”
“Every single day was a struggle from when I got up in the morning to when I went to bed at night. I felt physically sick. I didn’t sleep for weeks,” the mum-of-four admitted.
“I tried to tell myself that I’m a good person, that they were wrong. I tried to remember good things I’ve done and to remind myself of people who like me in real life. I realised I hadn’t had anything even approaching these kinds of thoughts in decades.”
“If it wasn’t for a wall of friends and family around me, checking on me – sometimes hourly – I don’t know how I’d have gotten through it. That’s the truth… Social media, and Twitter in particular, brings out the absolute worst in us.”
“I’m an adult. I’ve no idea how I’d have coped if I wasn’t. Our children are entering this arena. Self-regulation of social media has failed. Something needs to change,” Ciara added.
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