Most of what you read here on this blog is what I think. I’ve added some fact based information from organisations that work directly with mental illness.
But sometimes what you need is another perspective. Reading your own struggle in someone else’s words is a powerful thing! So I’m adding some thoughts from people that I often look to for another perspective.
I highly recommend starting with this illustrator/author’s comic on approaching suicide.
Slate have done an amazing photo journal on the public and private lives of people suffering from mental illness, which is so relevant.
Colour Me Anna is a great blog about anxiety among other things. This piece could just as easily have been written by my husband, My Wife Has Anxiety:
A fabulous piece on Cycling Tips that exactly echoes, in much better language, my opinion on the “link” between exercise and depression
A Mental As article, short but great… apart from them saying that depression plus anxiety equals bipolar! Not true.
This piece is about language in yoga class, but applies just as well to the language we use everyday. I want us to use language that is encouraging, not deflating.
Another great offering from Colour Me Anna, how to convince yourself that even the worst most lazy days are not wasted, and keep track of even the tiniest of achievements.
Buzz Feed have done excellent work running their own Mental Health Week. Here are a series of motivational posters, not for the average Joe, but specifically for those with mental illness. They also have a great series of what not to say to people with depression, and more importantly what TO say instead. Ignore the overdone videos attached, and may this help you know how to help.
Here are the lies that depression will tell you. It’s so hard to know what’s the true perspective, and what’s lies but here’s a start. Lastly from Buzzfeed: 21 things that people will never tell you about depression (well in my case no one apart from my psychologist)
Danny Baker is a tireless campaigner for recovery from depression. With his personal tale of suffering and returning to health, he has his own blog, books, ebooks and here is one of his many regular articles on how depression is lying to you when it tells you that you won’t get better.
Karen Taylor is a friend of a friend, she has described anxiety to a tee:
“Sharing my little story in the hope it may help even one person- So I once had a moment where I felt “wrong”. I ignored it and hoped it went away. I was a happy person with a happy life. I had no reason to feel this weird feeling. I hoped that would be the end of it. But the more I ignored it, the stronger it came. I ignored it and ignored it and it grew and grew. Then one morning I couldn’t stop shaking, nauseous like never before, heart racing, mind racing, feeling like I wasn’t even me. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t function. I could hardly talk. I walked into the doctors office and begged him to help me. Make this feeling stop. I had a life to get back to! He told me I had an anxiety disorder. WTF? I wasn’t an anxious person! That’s not who I am! But it wasn’t in my control. It wasn’t something I was choosing. Something went wrong in the signals and this is now something I had. I had to accept it. I had to learn to live with it. He gave me medication. This scared me- I didn’t want something messing with my mind. But I didn’t exactly enjoy what my mind was doing- so I took it. It wasn’t easy. For 6 weeks my body had to adjust to the medication. But you know what? I got “Me” back! I got to enjoy life again. I got to reign control again. I still have the occasional attack. I accept these and get someone to help me through. Once it was my unsuspecting neighbour who helped me. Once it was two work colleagues and a BP service station attendant. Many times it was my family. Watching me lying on the floor begging for it to stop. Believing in every second that you are truly dying. It’s the worst kind of torture you can experience. But there is one thing I have learnt- one thing can help- speaking up!!! I tell everyone I have this. Because everyone and anyone can help. My doctor can offer medication- it has me back to my normal self- not a zombie- but me!! My family offer support, my psychologist can offer strategies. But I never ever have to experience it alone or hide it. Never suffer in silence. You never know how many people will line up to help you. And they will help you. Just say the word…. Xx”
SANE Australia are another fabulous organisation. Here is one piece that I really connect with, Madness, Poetry and the search for Meaning
ABC News have written an article on ‘Changing the way we view mental health‘
The Daily Telegraph have written about the ‘Can we talk?‘ campaign
The Mighty are an amazing organisation that tirelessly and regularly publish people’s stories, opinion pieces, research and other interesting articles that work hard to reduce the stigma of mental illness and invisible illness. Mental Health on the Mighty is a Facebook page well worth a visit for yourself or someone else, or of course The Mighty website – Mental Illness itself.
Layne Beachley article and TED talk on her experience of depression