Alastair Campbell: Depression & Me. Another Great Mental Health Documentary.

This was another great documentary by the BBC for Mental Health Awareness Week; and again, it was great to see a public figure being so open in sharing their struggle with a mental health issue.

Like most words related to mental health issues, depression is wildly misused.  As we saw with Alastair Campbell, depression is not just feeling sad or unhappy for a short while; it is a long term, daily struggle and it can make your mood change in split seconds.

The main question raised by the documentary was the use of medication as a treatment.  It was plain to see that the medication Alastair was taking only helped to reduce the feelings of depression; his family were shocked that he could switch from feeling fine to being in a depressed state in just a matter of seconds whilst being on medication. Read more

Escaping the Anxious Prison.

As we have seen previously, the brain is constantly working to keep you safe from danger and harm; this is great up until the point when the anxiety is so bad that the brain goes into safety overdrive and your feel paralysed; it is as if your brain has built a prison to keep you locked away in.

While the brain thinks it is helping, being locked in this cell actually makes you feel trapped; you can imagine, and almost touch the metal bars, the solid concrete or brick walls, see the little window that is too high for you to look out of and only lets in a small amount of light. Read more

The Isolation of Anxiety & Depression

One of my main anxious fears is being around people, and talking to people.  When I first had my breakdown I struggled to leave home and could not walk up the local high road without feeling anxious; my body would be tense, I would look down at the pavement, and move quickly, just to try and avoid people.

Things are slightly better now; I can go out and not have the same level of fear that I did.  This is probably down to the fact that I am living in a different area.  In Chiswick I was in a block of flats, so the chances of bumping into a neighbour were greater, plus there was always the chance of seeing someone I knew when on the High Road or out walking Leo.  Where I am now, no one knows me, and so the chances of having to stop and talk to someone are a lot less. Read more

Time to Science the S**t out of this.

Science was never my strong point at school, and I wouldn’t say that it has been something I have been interested in since I left school; so, if you’d told me that I would be enjoying learning about some of the science behind Anxiety, Depression and Addiction, I would have laughed and shrugged it off as nonsense.

“So in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option.  I’m going to have to science the s**t out of this.”The Martian

When I had my first panic attack I honestly believed that something had snapped in my brain (I told you I wasn’t much of a scientist); all I remember was feeling scared and broken.  During the early stages of my illness I had no idea what was going on, all I knew was that the stresses at work were causing it.

My learning started when I attended CBT through the NHS.  My therapist gave me some booklets that contained some really useful information on the basics of what was going on in my head and body, but this information only covered the tip of the iceberg. Read more

Depression and Self Blame.

What would you say if I told you that Life Loves You and the Universe wants the Best for You?

You might think I really have lost my mind, and that I’m talking a load of rubbish.

During my struggle with anxiety and depression, I would have said that the world was against me I hated myself and the universe couldn’t care less about me.

Self blame and self loathing are a big problem that people with depression have to battle, this generally stems from the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and a general feeling of having no control in your life. Read more