Jekyll & Hyde -The Dangers of Suppressing the True You.

Every so often you come across a story that really resonates; recently this has been ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.

I have had the book for ages, and only decided to read it because it is on a school reading list for a friend’s son.  Like most people, I know the basics of the story and so I thought it might be relevant to my current situation.

Stevenson wrote Jekyll and Hyde at the end of 1885, and at the time it was viewed simply as a ‘horror story’, including by Stevenson himself.  The idea for the story came to him in a dream, and he described it as a ‘fine bogey tale’.  His wife did not like the first draft, she thought that the story had more potential, that it might have something significant to say about human nature, rather than being a mere horror story.  How right she was. Read more

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

Shall I Compare Me to a Shark?

As I mentioned in my last blog I have started an introductory course in counselling; during the introductions we were asked to say which animal we were most like, and then yesterday we had to talk about that while another person listened.

I had really struggled to decide which animal I think am like, and thought that I had avoided the question until it came up again yesterday.  In a way, I am glad it did because it meant I had to come up with something and then try to explain it.

The one animal that came to my mind was a shark, which seemed quite odd to me because I am not a fearsome predator at the top of a food chain; I would probably have thought I was more like a sardine, something small and insignificant, but I kept coming back to a shark. Read more

Back to School – Introduction to Counselling, Level 2

I left school when I was 17; I had finished my A-Levels and couldn’t get out of the place quick enough.

It is safe to say that I hated school, or maybe I should say my school; it was fine if you were one of the smart ones or really good at sports, but if you were somewhere in the middle you kind of went unnoticed.

The place was also a breeding ground for anxieties which I pretty much kept to myself. Read more