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Kieran Cooper

Dont Laugh At Me

Listen: Kildare Boxer Katelynn Phelan's Brave Return: Battling Bullying And Mental Health

She got her spark back after speaking to her GP and getting the support she needed.

"It's good to be back."

Kildare boxer Katelynn Phelan has opened up about her mental health struggles.

Speaking on Kildare Today, she said: "I'm in the best place mentally now than I have been in a long time and I'm just buzzing to get back in the ring."

Despite her exceptional underage boxing career, highlighted by a bronze medal victory at the 2017 Youth World Championships, her teenage years were marred by relentless bullying she endured during secondary school.

She said she didn't expect the backlash from winning a title.

"When you are in a ring, the high is bigger than any drink and drugs you can do. I didn't know how to deal with all the negative comments. I tried to hold it in and I didn't know what to do."

She said she reached out for help when she realised that she just felt like there was no point doing anything, even getting out of bed.

She went to A&E and explained that she was feeling suicidal.

She said she is glad she asked for help.

"When I was in school, social media was only coming up. Now it's a big thing. I came off it for three or four months."

She said it is too easy to compare yourself to other people online.

"It's a problem a lot of young people feel today. I just wish people would reach out and ask for help."

When she attended hospital, she cried for the entire three hours while she waited to be seen.

"I had the support system but I just felt as alone."

The doctors sent her home and advised her to go to her GP.

She was prescribed an anti-depressant.

"I was always against them," she said. "But now I'm glad that I took them," she said.

"I didn't care. I felt so low and nothing mattered. People supported me and I'm forever grateful."

Talking about suicidal ideation, she said the thoughts and feelings are terrifying. "You feel like nothing matters. It's scary and it's dark. Anything that you loved you just don't love anymore."

"I just cried and cried and cried," she said.

She got her spark back after speaking to her GP and getting the support she needed.

"It took me two years. I started going to the gym and slowly added more things into my routine."

She said she couldn't be more thankful for all the support from her boyfriend Shane.

Katelynn is preparing to return to the ring for the first time in three years.

She will feature in the "Fast Lane" card at the warehouse in the Red Cow on Friday 12th April.

You can listen to the full interview from this morning's Kildare Today programme here:


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