Unwanted Thoughts On The Black Dog
Can I level with you? I have boughts of severe depression. Thankfully, I am through the worst of it. My late twenties were pretty much a write off. But, I would like to share a bit from my journey…
Some days, we wake up with optimism and possibility… we’re able to find more reserves, connect better and do more generous work.
That might be because the outside world has handed us good news and opportunities, or it might be because the chemicals in our brain are particularly aligned…
I think it’s fair to assert that sometimes, our moods are handed to us.
But it’s also clearly true that we can do things to improve our mood. Morning pages, meditation, exercise, positive thinking, the right audio inputs, who we hang out with, the media we consume – when you are out the other end of a diagnosis it gets easier.
I am not saying some crass “Live, Love, Laugh” manifesto – take the medicine if you have been prescribed it. But, this is part of your skillset so don’t be ashamed of it. Reach out to people who can help you, I am glad I did.
This year, perhaps more than any other year in recent memory, the need and importance for us all to look after our mental health and support each other at this time, is clear and urgent. The Coronavirus pandemic has eroded many of the things that normally protect our mental health – from social connectedness to financial security and hope for the future.
Poor mental health is the greatest public health challenge facing our generation. Trivialising symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, under the influence of commercial industries that wish to turn mental health into an on-trend topic for profit, is unacceptable. Our approach should be evidence-based, involve whole communities, and prioritise prevention.
As a starting point, we recommend some basic practical things we all can do to protect our mental health:
- We could try and talk about our feelings to someone we know
- We could try and keep active, eat well and drink sensibly, and ask for help if we are struggling
At a time of the pandemic trying to anticipate distress, staying connected and engaging in a new rhythm of life is important.
If you are suffering today, or whenever, then I recommend the amazing MIND Charity. They helped me no end. There is no quick fix – but, one day, later down the line, you will level up on Awesome and start to feel more comfortable in your skin again; that is a promise.