Monday, October 10, 2011

Depression and Anxiety Don't Discriminate. Do You?

I'm sorry for going awol of late so thank you if you are still reading.  I have actually been crafting like mad and my poor loungeroom is currently covered in fabric, threads, patterns and countless WIPs (I just keep starting more...).  Unfortunately 'my' camera is holidaying in South America so getting pics of what I've been up to isn't as easy as it normally is.  I will work on that and get back to you all as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I shall move on to the real reason behind today's post -


Today, Monday 10 October 2011, is World Mental Health Day.  In Australia, beyondblue is working hard to break down the stigma associated with anxiety and depression and they have put the call out to encourage everyone to make an effort and spread the word.

This is an extremely personal subject for me as I have suffered from bouts of major depression a number of times in the last decade or so and anxiety & stress is a normal part of my everyday life.  In fact, there are times that it gets so crippling I can barely, if at all, leave the house.  This, for obvious reasons, can have dramatic results on relationships with partners, friends & family, as well as employment.  For years I hid in shame and went out of my way not to get too close to too many people for fear of (a) letting them down and (b) embarassing myself when an attack struck.  These days I still go into my dark zones or need periods of time-out but I am surrounded by loving friends and family who accept this and are extremely supportive.  For this I am eternally grateful. 

Depression and anxiety are illnesses.  There is no quick fix and sufferers can not "snap out of it".  Yes, medication can help but in my case, and no doubt many others, I need to completely change the way I think about myself and the world around me before I am completely "cured".  It is a hard slog but I believe I am getting there slowly, even if it is sometimes two steps forward, ten steps back.  If someone invented a pill to stop me hating myself and over-thinking every little thing I did then I'd be set.  But alas.

So, please, if you know of someone who is suffering, lend an ear, ask them if they are ok or drop them a nice note just to let them know you care.  They may not respond but don't take this personally.  You may also like to aquaint yourself with the various resources on the beyondblue website.  Knowledge is power and it may just help you understand what they are going through just that little bit more and what you can do to help.

Lastly, if you are suffering from dark thoughts and/or anxiety please, please, please talk to someone you love and trust and, this is the important part, let them help you.  I understand the difficulty in taking this step but you won't be sorry.  You are valuable.  You are loved.  Let people in.  Don't be afraid.

E.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this post. In the UK, also, understanding and support for mental health lags far behind that for physical illness. I think this is changing slowly but, as you say, knowledge is power and spreading the word like this is really helpful.

    I'm envious of your camera - holidaying in South America and I look forward to catching up up with your crafts in another post:)

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  2. There are so many levels of mental health issues that people really need to be open-minded and educate themselves on what their loved ones (or they themselves) may be going through.

    This is a beautiful post! I miss you so much! xoxo

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  3. This is a great post! I had post-natal depression, as well as other low times in my life. It's only because of a great health worker and help from the NHS that I got help. Still trying to live in the moment and keep check on how I feel. It's brave and important to talk about it, so well done you :)

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  4. Such a great post! Although I've not had personal experience of depression and anxiety disorders I have friends who have and acceptance is very important. I've also had CBT to help me with my condition and would really recommend 'The Compassionate Mind' by Paul Gilbert - I had a compassion focused strand of CBT which was started by him and the book is a wonderful read and really helps you feel compassionate towards yourself...take care and well done for speaking out xx

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  5. I am glad to hear from you. I was gonna drop you a note today asking if you were OK cause I know those 3 months aint over yet. But there you are with this great and interesting post! And if you want chocolat you have to leave me your adress ;-)

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