It’s #timetotalk day: on #depression and staying well

So its time to talk day once again and the mental health  charity Time to Change is asking the UK to talk about mental health in a bid to reduce stigma.

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Personally I have lived, either well or ill with depression since my late teens. During that time I have had four major depressive episodes, three lots of face to face councelling and done the lightening process course (all private, the latter I held a cake sale to raise money for my own therapy). As well as a six week over the phone cbt course and ongoing medication from the NHS.

If I hadn’t had sypathetic family, friends and work colleagues, I would never have been able to be so proactive.

It saddens me that  there is so much out there that can be of genuine help to those suffering from depression and other mental health difficulties, but the government doesn’t even cover the cost of extreme crisis.

There aren’t even enough services for fire fighting, and as a consequence, people are going up in flames.

And people forget that even when you are well enough to go back to work, it isn’t over.

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I continue to keep an eye on what I eat and how much sleep I get. I exercise regularly, do mindful meditation and pray. I also take antidepressants and work part time.

It means I am well and productive most of the time. And and yet when it comes to talking about mental health to others, I find I get pigeon holed – it’s “my thing” (just like environmental care is apparently) and yet surely it’s all of our thing?
I expect I need to learn better ways of approaching the topic, but also I have a plea – please remember it really is your thing too.

When I try to discuss my own mental health, I find people tend to panic if I say “I’m not so well right now” and respond by parenting me.
You know the kind of thing “no you can’t do that it’s too much for you ” um, how would you know what is or isn’t too much for me when you haven’t asked?

Of course, people are kind and we’ll meaning, but I have discovered it is easier not to say anything unless I am so ill I feel I can’t do my job properly.
On the flip side, I have never suffered from serious prejudice – I told my present employer that I have depression and they still employed me.

So there you have it, I have talked and shared. If you would like to continue the conversation, feel free to comment, I will of course read and reply to you.

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If Surrey were #Syria

This is from the Save the Children website, the video, an important step in helping us empathise:

http://y2u.be/IpBGfmIMfr0

Save the Children used hidden cameras to record genuine public reactions to a series of events unimaginable in the UK but sadly common place in Syria. Standard services were temporarily cut off, leaving Surrey residents under the illusion that they had no access to food, school and medical care. – See more at: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/2015-08/what-if-surrey-were-syria%3F#sthash.hRMJvqPi.dpuf

A life I aspire to

Jesus said it first:

 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Matthew 6:19-21

But if course I live in the affluent west. R and I aren’t exactly well off by. British standards, but in the grand scheme of things… We are.

It means to take this seriously is a big challenge. For a start, I have a lot of stuff that really, I just don’t need. And then there are all the nice things I would like to do, and lets face it, going to the cinema is treasure of the earthly variety.

Not that I wish to be an ascetic, and I don’t think  Jesus meant that. There is nothing wrong with the cinema, but when it matters more than Jesus’ command to move your neighbour, you know your life is getting rusty.

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I have been inspired by a couple of articles recently, one about how equality really is possible and the other a book on decluttering which is now on my wish list (I know, another possession!).

I thought you might find them interesting too:

Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing

Can KonMari transform your business?

The Blurt #buddybox

Last week I had some rather amazing post.

Admittedly I had ordered this Blurt buddy box for myself, but I had forgotten and it came at just the right moment:

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There are all sorts of reasons moving house is stressful, and I find it to say the least, difficult. It tests my wellness to the limit.

So the buddy box is a delight. There are lots of really lovely things in it. Not just coloured pencils, but nice coloured pencils. And the same goes for all the items. I am especially enjoying the sleep balm. I’m not sure it is making any difference to my sleep, but it smells lovely and is very comforting.

Buddy boxes, while worth the money, given the contents, are not cheap and I couldn’t see any of my family buying a subscription for me, even if they really wanted to, they just don’t have the cash.

I wonder if there might be any way of subsidising the cost, perhaps companies might like to get in board and donate nice things.

Any way, I think it’s is a stroke of genius in the part if Blurt and I hope they are able to continue with them.

I think I might ask my family to buy me a line off one as a birthday present.