Gabriel Byrne Discusses The Abyss of Depression & Alcoholism…

11 Aug

Gabriel Byrne discusses depression and alcoholism in an interview on Irish television channel RTÉ

It really is an excellent interview from a show is called The Meaning of Life.

To watch the full interview, please click here:

You can also click on this link Gabriel Byrne Meaning of Life Interview. Then click on the January 17, 2010 The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne interview. Gabriel Byrne The Meaning of Life


{I apologize but I was unable to embed or send this video as those options were not available. If you could help me to embed this video from the internet archive, then I would be ever so grateful}.

I copied and pasted the description of the interview from the show’s web site:

“…The basis for a searching interview, in which Gabriel talks engagingly and openly about his life: his decision to enter a UK seminary at the age of eleven; his experiences of clerical sexual abuse; his reasons for giving up on any idea of priesthood and his search for another vocation, which found fulfilment in acting; his relationships with the two key women in his life, Aine O’Connor and Ellen Barkinhis on-going struggle with twin demons – alcoholism and depression – in which he knows he is far from alone in this country; and the reason he thinks so much about death.”


Gabriel says that alcoholism and depression are seen as moral failings– as if something is wrong with the person for being “weak” or “not good enough.” These feelings of inadequacy have probably existed before. They only become exacerbated with drinking and by the judgment of others.

***Alcohol only adds fuel to the fire.***

He also notes that alcoholism and depression are often intertwined; hence the “twin demons” reference. They are so inextricably linked that I wonder how one can be divorced from the other. I don’t believe that they can- especially since alcoholism is a depressant. People drink to get out of depression. The more they drink, the more depressed they become; hence, the vicious and self-destructive cycle continues.

Gabriel says that, “Part of the disease of alcoholism is removing yourself from reality as quickly as possible.” Essentially he is describing an emotional disconnection, spiritual disconnection- numbness.  He describes binge drinking as a plague because people emotionally disconnect from themselves, from others and from life. 

I think it is vital for people to be honest about depression and addiction {in any form}. Awareness and honesty is what will give them insight. Courage will allow them to look in the mirror and take the first step on the path to healing.

Then people can start to fight their demons.

I pray that they win.

*People suffering from any addiction or illness need our compassion.

{You never know if your compassion can give them strength to battle their demons and to heal}.


For more information on Gabriel Byrne,

please visit…Byrneholics.


Peace & Namaste…

13 Responses to “Gabriel Byrne Discusses The Abyss of Depression & Alcoholism…”

  1. Lillie March 20, 2013 at 3:02 PM #

    Super-Duper website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read
    some more. I am taking your feeds also.

    • MYSOULSONICE April 10, 2013 at 12:22 AM #

      Slayer Muser…
      Thank you so much for this article.
      It totally uplifted my day 🙂

      I will have to read it when I have time because it is a long one.

      Gabriel really speaks his mind and seems to be unafraid of the consequences.
      It takes courage to speak out against the Catholic church or any organized religion.
      He is being true to himself by doing so.

      {Well, he has played the devil so he isn’t afraid of anything}.

      • Slayer Muser April 10, 2013 at 2:11 AM #

        Indeed! “End of Days” was on telly here last night. Only noticed when it was half-way through. Sorry to have missed it. Anyway, too busy now with “Californication”: A W E S O M E ! Motored through Season 1 in about half a day. Hang on… there are more hours in- oh, you know what I mean! Now this is someone I’d have a lot of fun relating to and writing about. Might have to post on Hank Moody first, then Larry David. Or not. We’ll see. Stay classy.

        • MYSOULSONICE April 10, 2013 at 11:15 PM #

          I really enjoyed watching Californication.

          That is one show that I only saw the first season or two of and meant to watch the rest.
          David Duchovny is the perfect Hank Moody- so sarcastic.
          {I could see you relating to him and liking him}.

  2. Stella Kuru (@Byrneholics) September 4, 2013 at 5:54 AM #

    Thanks for making this interview available here. It is one of Mr. Byrne’s most revealing and intense interviews.

    Gabriel Byrne recently reviewed the new biography of Oliver Reed and called for a stop to the public shaming of celebrities who suffer from alcoholism and other substance abuse problems. The review is here:

    “As a society we must begin to view this deadly illness not with condemnation but with compassion, and cease criminalising or romanticising the suffering of the addict. Let’s stop the prurient and voyeuristic media reporting of their sad travails (Lindsey Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Paul Gascoigne).”

    And thanks also for providing a link to Byrneholics. Much appreciated! Best to you. Stella

    • MYSOULSONICE November 9, 2013 at 9:16 PM #

      My deepest apologies for my belated response.

      I really enjoyed the meaning of life interview with Gabriel Byrne.

      I also agree that it is his most revealing, intense and intimate interview that I have ever seen.

      Thank you so much for letting me know about Gabriel’s review of Oliver Reed’s biography.
      I shall have to read it when I have the time.

      I deeply admire Gabriel for his honesty about his struggles with alcohol and depression.
      Further, I very much agree with his call to stop shaming celebrities with substance abuse problems.
      I believe that all people that have substance abuse problems need to be helped and not judged.
      I try to highlight mental health awareness/advocacy on this blog.
      Mental health advocacy is very near to my heart and I try my best to showcase people’s struggles with addictions.
      I also hope to all bring light to their healing as well.

      Compassion is the compass for this blog and I try to always write and live with compassion.

      You are very welcome about the link to Byneholics.

      I {and many others} Gabriel Byrne admirers/fans are very grateful for the hard work Byrneholics puts in to your blog.
      It is very much appreciated and enjoyed 😉
      *I will continue to link to Byrneholics as a reference for our beloved Gabriel Byrne.

      Kindest Regards.
      P.s. Would you happen to know where one could watch “Stories From Home” by any chance?
      I am dying to watch it.
      I am so intrigued by this Gabriel Byrne documentary.
      I would really like to write about it afterwards.

    • MYSOULSONICE... December 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM #

      Slayer Muser…
      Thank you so much for the link to this enlightening article and most provocative thesis.
      Receiving this was like getting the birthday gift that you needed but didn’t know that you wanted.
      It came on a day when I really needed to hear it/read it.
      Thank you so much.
      I am grateful and honoured.

      I was aware that many intelligent people suffer from depression but I never considered depression to be a highly intelligent state of being.
      {This is aside from the correlation between depression and creativity/intelligence/genius which I am simply fascinated by}.


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