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Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

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Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  cherry1 on Sun 16 Sep - 23:53

EXCLUSIVE: Gerry McCann tó ópen up about his mental health struggles in 'hónest, personal and sómetimes painful' Radio 4 interview 11 years after daughter Maddie vanished
•Cardiologist, 50, has rarely discussed his own battles with depression and grief
•Hopes speaking candidly will encourage more men to talk about their problems
•Maddie vanished from apartment in Algarve's Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007

He said: 'It's a good opportunity to discuss the special bond between fathers and daughters. Speaking openly might help other men in similar positions'

By Tracey Kandohla For Mailonline

Published: 22:34, 16 September 2018  | Updated: 22:53, 16 September 2018

Madeleine McCann's father will tell of the heartache of losing his daughter in a rare and powerful radio interview to raise awareness about mental health.

Gerry McCann will speak candidly about his own struggles in a bid to help other men facing unimaginable loss and grief cope with their issues.

The eminent cardiologist - whose daughter Maddie vanished nearly eleven and a half years ago during a family holiday in Portugal - will open up about the once taboo subject of males talking frankly about their emotions.


Mr McCann, 50, will discuss his own agony in 'honest, personal and sometimes painful terms' for the BBC Radio 4 special show

He said: 'I decided it was a good opportunity to say something about the special bond between fathers and daughters, thinking that speaking openly might help other men in similar positions. It feels like the right time.'

The McCanns have struggled with grief since three-year-old Maddie vanished from an apartment in the Algarve's Praia da Luz in May 2007 while they were dining in a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

They still cling onto a glimmer of hope their eldest child, who would now be aged 15, could still be alive.

Over the years former GP turned medical worker Mrs McCann, 50, has given heartfelt media interviews about her loss, which once became so unbearable she contemplated taking her own life.

Her husband has also spoken out but usually to talk about the police investigation into her disappearance and has rarely discussed his own grief.

Maddie's father will reiterate 'his absolute determination to keep looking for Madeleine', a spokesperson for the one-off arts programme told MailOnline.

Prince Harry was involved in a similarly candid interview in 2017, where he defied British royal tradition by discussing years of pain and mental health struggles.

In the podcast interview with Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon he tied his issues to directly to the grief of losing his mother

Coincidentally the show: 'Pearl: Two Fathers Two Daughters' will be aired in a fortnight, just a day before Scotland Yard's funding for their Maddie inquiry, codenamed Operation Grange, is due to run out.

It will weave together two voices of grief to reflect loss and consolation - one of the present day Gerry McCann and one from 600 years ago.

Maddie's father, a world renowned heart doctor at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, will be giving 'a very personal and in depth interview and a rare and unprecedented insight into his life,' the BBC spokesperson added.

One of Britain's leading poets Simon Armitage, who reached out and befriended the McCanns' after their loss, translates and dramatises a medieval poem 'Pearl' which recounts a father's grief over the loss of his daughter.

The poem will be performed by Game of Thrones star Iain Glen and Casualty actress Grace Doherty with Maddie's father 'powerful' interview.

Mr McCann said: 'As a family we'd worked with Simon Armitage before and know what a sensitive, thoughtful writer he is. When I read the Pearl poem, I could see echoes in it with Madeleine's situation and our loss.'

Mr Armitage, who wrote a moving poem The Bacon to mark the harrowing 1,000-day milestone of Maddie's abduction in 2010 remarked: 'Pearl is one of the most moving poems in the language, written by a man grieving over the loss of his young daughter.

While translating it into modern English I kept thinking of the McCann family and their daughter Madeleine. I'd written a poem for the family to mark the one thousandth day of her disappearance, spending some time with Kate and talking to her about life without Madeleine and the campaign to find her.'

The Professor of Poetry at Oxford University added: 'Gerry's voice hasn't been heard as much, and after reading the poem he agreed to give an extended interview, to tell his side of the story in terms of how men deal with loss and grief in a world where they're usually expected to stay strong and silent. I knew that religion plays an important part in the McCann's family life, as it does for the author of Pearl, who seeks consolation through his faith

The McCanns' from Rothley, Leicestershire, who have 13-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, are devout Roman Catholics, although Maddie's loss has made her father question his faith at times during a particularly low periods.

The doctor's new-found openness to help others cope with loss comes after Prince Harry, now Duke of Sussex, spoke about his struggles with mental health in a groundbreaking podcast interview on May 2017 with the Daily Telegraph's Bryony Gordon for her revered 'Mad World' series. The young royal spoke openly about bottling up his emotions and being unable to grieve for years after the loss of his mother Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997.

Later this month on the afternoon of September 29 Mr McCann will broadcast his own battles following the loss of his daughter in the world's biggest ever baffling missing child cases.

A BBC show spokesperson told MailOnline: 'We look at Gerry's experiences, his thoughts and feelings, and the wider context in society of mental health issues surrounding a loss.

'Susan Roberts, our producer, has already interviewed Gerry over the past few weeks, it has been recorded and we are now doing the final edit. It's very emotional and helps get across the point of view of mental illness associated with a loss or bereavement of a family member or friend, that there is no stigma in men opening up and discussing emotions with someone is important.

'In our show there is a parallel between the poem of a father's loss and the real life experience, reflecting the two.'

The Middle English poem 'Pearl' written by an unknown author sees a father lamenting the loss of his daughter, who returns to him in a dream to help him come to terms with her absence.

The anonymous poet demonstrates that grief for loved ones is the hardest grief of all as he seeks consolation in the idea of heaven and the power of prayer. The original manuscript, now held in the British Library, has been dated to the late 14th century.

Eight years ago Mr Armitage wrote a poem entitled The Beacon, which was read at an event marking 1,000 days of Maddie's disappearance. It has since been repeated during anniversary gatherings to remember the missing girl at the war memorial in her home village, and read by her great aunt, local resident and church goer Janet Kennedy.

At the time the author said: 'My poem drew on the imagery of the photograph of Madeleine in missing posters around the world as well as the candle her parents keep burning in a lantern in their village square. On my part, like a lot of people, it's something that, right from the beginning, I felt moved by.

'They have hope and that's what keeps them going. For as long as that's the case they have a parent's duty and it's their fierce desire to keep looking for her.'

The McCanns praised the poem, saying: 'We think it is an incredible and really beautiful sonnet. It manages to convey so accurately and succinctly both our darker moments and the reality of hope and possibility, as well as including powerful and touching references to Madeleine.'


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6173813/Gerry-McCann-open-mental-health-struggles-Radio-4-interview.html
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  interested on Mon 17 Sep - 0:24

I'm sure the doctors McCann have experienced grief over the death of Madeleine but not to the extent that they are willing to speak the truth about what really happened to her. Their grief is centered on what would happen to them if the truth was exposed.
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  interested on Mon 17 Sep - 15:25

Following the Sun article about Gerry's painful mental health struggle, a video of the dogs sniffing in the apartment is included. That should unsettle Gerry a lot.
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  tanszi on Tue 18 Sep - 19:20

normally I have every compassion for an yon e struggling with mental health issues, however im suspicious of the timing on his revelations. also how did this impact on his work. did it prevent him working, making important health decisions on other peoples lives. oh interested yes ill bet that video would add to them.
I know this sounds harsh whatever anguish he feels im sure it is nothing to the anguish Madeleine felt.
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  interested on Tue 18 Sep - 21:33

Considering who you were referring to, that is by no means harsh.
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  malena stool on Wed 19 Sep - 11:02

Neither of them seemed particularly stressed nor struggling with mental health problems when they were videoed grinning sitting in their home surrounded by literally £thousands of donations intended for their "No stone Unturned" fund...

(A video now removed from the internet, unless anyone has saved it on a computer).

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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  Christine on Thu 20 Sep - 10:22

Only got the picture.

Oops, can't seem to attach it.
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  cherry1 on Sat 29 Sep - 17:40

GERRY MCANN ON BBC RADIO 4: 29 SEPTEMBER 2018 -SUMMARY

(please note, had intended doing this verbatim but unfortunately phone kept ringing so had to abandon that and done as a summary of what heard him say, some bits did not hear clearly and may have missed a few things, stand to be corrected on anything may have misheard)

The relationship Gerry had with Madeleine was incredibly special. When Madeleine was young had bad colic and after being fed had a lot of discomfort. They almost did a shift system of getting through it when she had colic and he used to put her on chest and rub her back, she used to pull hairs on his chest, quite painful sometimes, seemed to help her burping a bit, all that contact time skin to skin made a strong bond early on. Following year went to Amsterdam for work where he was working 8 am till 6pm Monday to Friday and had a lot of quality time with Madeleine, special time, you can't get back.

She is absolutely amazing, he thinks about this back a lot, all parents think their child is amazing, and most are but some of the stuff he was able to do with Madeleine, conversations she had, her character, personality, was really fantastic.. Would sit down at night with Madeleine in little snug and watch two programmes in particular, .....and Dr Who, she was three and she really loved it. He would then do bedtime with Madeleine in particular, lie down on bed with her and read a story, their time together.

She loved sport, running around the garden playing games and being chased and laughing. These are the things he really remembers and swimming, she loved swimming. He would take her along to local leisure centre swimming pool, she would march around smiling, no anxiety, she was in there.

Went the last week in April to PDL, weather not that good really windy, big outdoor pool wasn't heated, they had been up early feeling tired, Madeleine said let's go swimming, Madeleine lasted longer than Kate in the pool, only just arrived and she wanted to go swimming.

That actual evening - Kate came running back from apartment screaming on that night - first thing that raised alarm, he was in complete shock when Kate was screaming Madeline is missing, she's gone. He said she can't be gone, ran in looking in bedroom, checking everywhere in apartment, under kitchen sink, in cupboards, disbelief when she said Madeleine was missing, shock, horror and then panic and terror because he could only think of one scenario at that time.

He hadn't thought about those moments for a long time, those specific ones are pretty painful, almost automation kicked in where Kate .......(thought he said searched but not heard that clearly), Dave, Russell he thinks went outside round apartment, started searching more widely, quickly raised alarm, he didn't speak Portuguese and asked Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the Police.

He thinks he remembers just being in the bedroom distraught, the two of them completely distraught, feeling helpless alone together but the most painful realisation he couldn't get the darkest thoughts out of their minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her. Every moment they couldn't find her was worse and he remembers being slumped on the floor starting to call some of family members, (think he was saying about praying here) he thought that was the only thing that could help at that point. He had been brought up Catholic and that was his reaction and at that point he certainly wanted to believe there was a God and hope that would help

He can't really remember....., Police seemed to take forever to arrive, they had taken some brief statements and then just kind of left and all alone they were in apartment and then it felt terrible and then they went to another apartment by which time was three or four in the morning. Kate was saying I want to go back out and search and I said wait till it gets light. There was overwhelming feeling of helplessness, they couldn't do anything and that experience they were feeling right at the centre of it was like a ripple or tidal wave going out and crashing into their family and friends as they heard what had happened.

That first night felt like it lasted forever, obviously he didn't sleep and went out again first thing as soon as it was light. Kate and he went out walking the streets of PDL, calling Madeleine's name, dogs barking, it was deserted. When they came back between 8 and 9 the Police arrived and said wanted to take them to do statements and the whole day was spent in the Police Station. It felt to them nothing was happening and he was devastated. He was expecting a Met Police type response. He remembers asking the Police when they arrived to get a helicopter with heat seeking equipment, thought could be across the border, driving her to Africa, ports, couple of hours away. He remembers thinking get the borders closed, felt there should be road blocks or something happening . When came back again was amazed at hundreds of media there, didn't think he knew anyone had contacted the media at that point. His first reaction was that any privacy went out the window . When went in to the apartment someone from the Consulate was there and suddenly he thought they could appeal maybe someone could come forward, nobody they could phone, nobody giving advice, when went down there were lights and cameras and loads of journalists, he felt like he was doing something that could be positive.

He couldn't eat, almost not drink, adrenalin, fear, anxiety that manifested itself in quite dramatic physical symptoms. Many people had said can't imagine how coped but everyone has felt that supermarket or shop or sporting event where you lose contact for seconds so people know what's that like, every parent has felt that and they know and you put it in a situation that is magnified in terms of surviving. He went out and did the appeal asking for information and people to come forward and went back to the apartment and counsellor had arrived and he said I am there and at the time he just didn't think he was the sort of person that would need counselling or respond to it, he was great, as said I am here you can call me any time and we did go to bed and couldn't sleep, wind howling, really windy that whole week, wind howling round the apartment, shutter rattling.

They were getting more and more distraught and sometime between 4 and 5 rang Alan and he came round to apartment and started talking to us and interestingly he started of asking just about their normal life, our week at home and what it was like (believe he may have said something here about being told sound like great parents, words to that effect) and Kate had said I had let her down not being there for her,(said something like this has been misinterpreted) we had somehow let this happen or given someone an opportunity, at the time it was guilt that we were partly responsible for allowing someone to steal our daughter and after listening , sometimes sounded like were paddling furiously under the water just to keep our nose above the surface and so close to drowning, that's what it felt like. Lack of information about what was happening, I think in medicine, and every walk of life the worse thing is not knowing what is happening and lack of information almost paralysing . Without doubt family support.....sometimes went in bedroom and lay down and cried and that happened for a very long time afterwards sometimes triggered by something he saw, sometimes letting that emotional release happen is important but no matter how they responded was very different after the first 36 or 48 hours, almost like there was a switch ...getting into that mode. They had gone down to Church quite a bit, now probably call it mindfulness, closest thing to a vision felt like in a tunnel but on this could occasion could see the tunnel had an ending and there was light and lighter getting bigger and brighter and that to him was like a symbol that he could do things which would make their goal of finding Madeleine more achievable.

They had tremendous amount of support from the community and he did pray a lot especially in first months. The Church was shared between the Catholic and Church of England and can't remember who gave them the key. First Sunday mass was Mothering Sunday, they were at the front and every woman in the congregation came up and held their hands and said strength, esperanca, made him feel stronger having that level of support.

His spirituality has (think he said has?) waned throughout his whole life but has always been there to some extent in background and Kate and he both Catholics, had discussion whether they would bring Madeleine up as Catholic, although he was not devout, far from it but they made the decision the really good principles to guide their own lives and would be a good thing to do so became a bit more involved in Church again.

He found it harder with all those millions of prayers and people praying to accept that hasn't had better outcome, difficult to accept with so many people praying. Very early on they said they were not leaving without Madeleine and certainly had felt like that the first month or two but it became very apparent to him in July, August that them staying in Portugal was making the situation worse, was being counterproductive, certainly felt to him the problem just had to go away and that Portugal's reputation was being damaged and they stayed to close where Madeleine was but once this spotlight turned on them he said to Kate in August they needed to leave, it felt like they were being ripped? but at that point after made arguidos it was impossible and unbearable and they did ask for permission to leave but that whole journey to the airport was like a nightmare.

Madeleine's room is pretty much as it was, a wardrobe full of presents, Christmas, and birthdays and special occasions but the decoration is the same, bedding, stars still up, there is pretty much the same and for a long time they couldn't let people in her room, almost felt like defiling Madeleine and her memory, the thought of even selling the house and thinking that people would see Madeleine's room.

The first month or two was really busy, after about ten days lost faith in Portuguese Police, orchestrated media campaign trying to make them look guilty and British Press worse picking up tiny lines in a paper and splashing them on front pages as headlines, the whole of the first fifteen months felt like one acute severe episode of grief and loss and pain and compounded by pain of things reported as fact, nothing more than speculation and lies had a huge impact. Hardest bit was each of them were struggling so much it was hard to support each other, thankfully the days where both of them have had really bad days were infrequent so supporting each other and having common goal and enormous amount of family and friends support enabled them to function and also from ordinary people, touch and go - periods where felt going under, often late at night, sleep disturbed, getting through nights was the hardest. Twins kept them focused, trying to make sure they had enough love and attention they deserved individually in their own rights, incredible important don't know what it would have been like if Madeleine had been an only child would have been worse, needed the two young people, part of that support..

Never a day goes by when he doesn't think about Madeleine and situation and what might have happened but now over course particularly since Met Police started investigation six/seven years ago , a new normality of their day to day life as a family four and not five, although Madeleine is always part of it, its terrible to say, it sounds cold you can't live the way they lived for fifteen months, drained exhausted, they had crutches, people, distraction, you cannot live like that, you can't live with that emotion day to day, completely drains you.

His memories, happy memories are of a girl who was almost four but you look at family and how she has developed and can't help but think what she would look like and anniversaries obviously difficult and birthdays but also seeing Sean and Amelie going through all the stages, He imagines Madeleine would be running round the garden, swimming and seeing how good the twins are at these things, He does often think what would it be like for Madeline now and thank God Sean and Amelie have each other but what they have missed out on having such a lovely big sister is very painful and not done it for a while but watching home video they have with them, photos up around the house, first day when she should have gone to school, seeing your twins who are twenty one months younger than Madeleine gong to secondary school and doing science and French you can't help but think that's what Madeleine should be doing.

He has dreams about her including in the last few months but it's not frequent, painful when they happen. Thought about it a lot early on and what he was absolutely confident about is whatever had happened Madeleine she is still alive, (said something here about coping and she would be in the right place but not clear), that's how he felt about it and he thinks he has thought about it recently just wanted to have her and hold her and cant, he just deals with that situation, have thought various points what it would mean just stepping back from everything else.

That's the thing he has seen over and over again, you adapt to the situation, human nature and amount of people who said to us, I don't know how you cope but actually you see it all the time, people fighting illness, deaths of parent of children, other incredible tragedies, coming through over and over, we are incredibly resilient for most part and people are helping and time makes the pain ease the grief and the loss and the pain we have is not knowing but he doesn't wish her dead its not a trade of at any point he certainly did (think he said did) believe in heaven right now but he does intuitively feel they will be reunited at some point.











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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  cherry1 on Sat 29 Sep - 17:42

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45694119

Madeleine McCann's father describes the 'terror' of her disappearance

18 minutes ago

Madeleine McCann's father has described the "terror" and "disbelief" at first realising his daughter was missing.

Madeleine, then aged three, disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007, sparking a worldwide search for her whereabouts.

Gerry McCann said he had not thought about "those moments" for a long time because they were too "painful".

Mr McCann was speaking to BBC Radio 4 for a programme about the relationship between fathers and daughters.

He said that he was sure immediately that his daughter had been abducted.




After being told by his wife Kate that their daughter was missing, Mr McCann said "automation kicked in" and he began searching the apartment.

"We started searching more widely really quickly and then very quickly raised the alarm," he said.

"You're in this quiet little holiday resort - that seemed idyllic - out of season and I certainly didn't speak Portuguese so I asked [our friend] Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the police."
◾Madeleine McCann: Timeline of first night

Mr McCann said he remembered him and his wife being back in the bedroom "completely distraught", adding their reaction was "almost feral".

"I couldn't get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her," he continued.

"I felt that every moment that we couldn't find her was worse.

"I remember being slumped on the floor and starting to call some of my family members and just saying: 'Pray for her.'"

'It's so cold'

Mr McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, added that some parts of that night 11 years ago are "blurred", but he remembers waiting "forever" for the police to arrive.

"It just felt terrible. We went then to another apartment, by which time it was three or four in the morning and Kate was saying, 'I want to go back out and search.'

"I was saying: 'Just wait until it gets light,' and Kate kept saying: 'It's so cold.'"

The Metropolitan Police inquiry into the disappearance - known as Operation Grange - has been ongoing since 2011.

Four people were identified as suspects in 2013, but no further action was taken after they were interviewed by Portuguese officers and the Met Police, who visited the holiday resort in 2014.

The Home Office said last week it is currently considering a police request for an extra six months' funding for Operation Grange.

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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  interested on Sat 29 Sep - 23:28

Reading this his fake emotion comes across as if he is a psychopath, slumped on the floor calling members of his family in another country as if they could help. He remembers it was cold which should have been all the more reason to search. I just wish it had been taped, I enjoy watching him squirm.
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  malena stool on Sun 30 Sep - 11:15

Strangely enough interested, according to the reports at the time, the first call on his mobile after Madeleine was found absent from the apartment, was to Gordon Brown...

Apart from both being members of the Labour Party there is no recorded inference that Brown and McCann are 'family.'
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Re: Gerry McCann to open up about his mental health struggles

Post  interested on Sun 30 Sep - 16:00

The timing of his performance is useful, coming as it does when talk of funding comes up......again.
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