Gerry Ryan's sad death brought about by dreadful depression more than drugs

It has become completely obvious that Gerry Ryan, Ireland's best known media personality, was suffering a complete nervous breakdown when he died of a heart complication in April this year.

His death sent shock waves throughout Ireland.

Google just revealed that his death was the most sought after domestic story all year.

It seemed impossible that the cheeky, hilarious, glad handing Ryan -- think a slightly more reserved Howard Stern --- had died so tragically and so young at 53.

The sad part is that Ryan, despite all his wealth and power was unable to see what was happening to him, that he was in the midst of a profound depression.

Like so many other powerful people he seemed unable to address his own mortality and get desperately needed counselling as his world crashed down around him.

Ryan had been through a crushing separation from his wife, had financial problems and was also taking drugs -- cocaine was found in his system.

But, perhaps, because he was Gerry Ryan, he was unable to realize just how out of control his life had become.

Yet it is all there in the words of his new girlfriend Melanie Verwoerd

"He was extremely unwell and under an extreme amount of stress in the last few months, particularly in the last two weeks," she told the inquest.

"He was trying to sort out the terms of his separation."

She said he was under "enormous pressure from RTE and his work", as well as financial difficulties,

"He was under enormous financial pressure and it started to take a toll. In the last two weeks, he barely slept, ever."

She said he woke between 3am and 5am for the last 10 days of his life.

During those early morning hours , he "suffered heart palpitations and breathlessness. Bouts of dizziness began to affect him .

"I begged him to go to the doctor but he said it was just panic attacks."

Panic attacks?

Sounds more like a complete breakdown.

Gerry Ryan needed psychiatric care at that point, someone to help shine a light on his brain and see what was really bothering him.

"He'd go grey and complain of pressure in his heart," she said.

On his last night alive "He used a very Gerry phrase," she said. "He said, 'I'm totally banjaxed.'"

Banjaxed" is Dublinese for utterly kaput.

A few hours later his prophetic words came through and he died of an arrhythmia, likely brought on by stress and some cocaine use.

But perhaps her saddest words related to his state of mind "It is most important to remember that Gerry was a showman, that he wanted to keep the face up," she said.

How many Irish people could that refer to --- the need above all to save face to keep the show going.

Alas, for Gerry Ryan, his inability to seek top professional help may have cost him his life.

But hopefully others will listen and learn

And his needless death will accomplish some good.

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