Mental Health

Depression

With the recent suspected suicide of Robin Williams a limelight has been shone on what could have led him to do this. Which has brought attention to depression, and how without help it mentally chips away at those who suffer from it.

It’s a shame it takes the death of someone in Hollywood to draw attention to a disease in which hundreds of millions of people suffer from.

It can make you feel isolated and alone, forcing you to wear a mask. A brave face to show the world unable to share the pain that is really being felt.

There seem to be many comedians who suffer from depression themselves. Perhaps that’s because those who battle depression experience a flat affect, no emotional responses to situations or experiences. Seeing that they can make others experience joy and laughter gives them purpose. However, at the end of the day if you don’t have love for yourself the love of others means nothing.

depression

If you are suffering from depression, get help. Although you feel alone in the darkness, you don’t have to be. Those feelings are a symptom of the disease. I had done a previous post with a focus on talking to someone when you are feeling down, you can read that here. It’s never too late to reach out, to ask for help, it could save your life.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” -Laurell K. Hamilton

Slow life

Take a few moments and watch this hypnotic video called ‘Slow Life’. Why not take a few deep breaths while you’re at it. Life is short, we all could benefit from slowing down and marvelling in the beauty and weridness that can surrounds us.

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” – Leonardo da Vinci 

It’s Time To Talk

Depression has a way of entering a life and taking over. It affects motivation, eating and sleeping habits, sexual drive, concentration as well as many other things. It not only affects those who suffer from it but the people that surround them. Most of us can feel helpless in it’s presence, here’s a great representation of what it can do:

The difficulty with many mental health issues is the shame that is attached. Many people are afraid to be open and honest about how they are feeling. Carrying the weight of depression is difficult, carrying it on your own is almost impossible. The charity Aware here in Ireland has a campaign to stop the silence, called It’s Time To Talk. The goal is to show how important it is to have real and meaningful conversations about mental health.

Myself and my friend Sinead Lynch at Silver Linings wanted to add to the conversation. We decided to do a short video on ‘What is Therapy’.

The reason most people don’t start therapy is because they are scared about the experience, worried about what will be uncovered. I’m not going to lie and say that therapy is easy, it’s not. It can be very difficult but it can also be a life changing experience. Uncovering the past hurt and working through it, in a safe environment built on trust, is very healing.

If you have decided that you can’t keep going the way you have been, or feel like you don’t want to do this on your own.. Get help, life doesn’t have to be this hard. You are not admitting defeat, you are admitting that some things are not meant to be done alone.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” – Laurell K. Hamilton

Feeling guilty?

Guilt is one of those emotions that can often make us do things we don’t want too. It’s usually paired with ‘I should be doing this’ or ‘I shouldn’t be doing that’.

Letting ourselves be controlled by guilt can lead to feelings of unhappiness. If you’re doing things out of obligation it’s difficult to enjoy yourself. Or if you’re beating yourself up from something that happened in the past it’s impossible to be in the present.

There are many facets of guilt, you can feel guilty because you:

  • Did something wrong
  • Think you did something wrong
  • Didn’t do something that you should have
  • Were told you did something that hurt someone else

This list goes on.

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You’re feeling the way you’re feeling because guilt is linked to shame. Shame is a very difficult and vulnerable space. It’s defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress, caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour. Shame is something we find at a young age which means it’s hard to let go of. However, there are things you can do to help you with your guilty conscience.

Wiki How has some suggestions to help you deal with guilt, including recognising if you should be feeling guilty in the first place.

If you have wronged someone then you need to accept that and try to fix what has happened. If that’s not possible then you need to learn from what you did and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If you aren’t learning from the behaviour then the guilt will stick. If you want to learn about how to deal with your guilt, there are more tips here.

I also recommend looking at the things you do in your life for you and the things you do out of guilt. Start doing more for you and less for guilt. Don’t go visit your angry father because you feel a duty too. You’re just giving the guilt the power and taking power away from yourself. Why do you deserve to be in pain to make someone else feel better?

It’s important to remember that guilt like every other emotion is a choice, a decision made. Not an easy choice but you are the only one that controls how you react in a situation. Decide you won’t let guilt call the shots anymore and untie that knot in your belly.

“There’s no problem so awful, that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it even worse.” – Bill Watterson