Trigger warning: This article mentions mental illness and disorders, and may be distressing to some readers.
The pressure of The Block seemingly came crashing down on returning Blockhead Ronnie Cacares during the show’s main bedroom week after walking away from a blow up with Foreman Keith in tears.
Keith reprimanded Ronnie for his decision to store close to three-tonnes of gyprock plaster against a wall after the pile toppled over, potentially injuring someone.
The teary moment saw Ronnie reveal to viewers that he was diagnosed with ADHD — an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder — after he and wife Georgia first competed on The Block in 2017, but it was a culmination of things that set him off, Ronnie told 9Entertainment.
“There were about six or seven things that happened in a space of about an hour,” he said in an interview with the publication. “I was having problems getting my medication transferred from Perth to Melbourne. So, there was a period of time where I didn’t take my medication for about three or four days.”
Ronnie added that the issues with his medication, along with the gravity of how dangerous the gyprock slip up was, is what made him “really emotional” — an out-of-character display that shocked both the crew and the show’s viewers.
“That could have compromised everyone’s Block experience. If I would have hurt someone, or even worse, killed someone… that’s life-changing,” the 45-year-old said.
ADHD isn’t unfamiliar to Ronnie and his family — Ronnie’s 20-year-old son Giordano was diagnosed with the disorder when he was just 12.
Speaking with 9Now, Ronnie said he hopes that sharing his story and diagnosis might encourage others to get diagnosed themselves.
“It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever done,” he said.
You can catch Ronnie and Georgia of The Block on Channel Nine and 9Now, Sunday nights at 7pm and Monday through Wednesday at 7:30pm.
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
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