I yesterday listened to a great talk by Alastair Campbell, the former Labour spin doctor, who is famously open about his own mental health breakdown. He proposed that the more it becomes acceptable to talk about breakdowns and depression, the better our society will become at dealing with - and helping those - in distress.
So, to that end, I am outing myself and "talking" openly about my own mental health. I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember; certainly at age 14, I was aware how it would just come over me, all-consuming. It can be crippling living with a heavy, deadening darkness crushing you. I have tended to hide this side of myself, as to admit to it can feel like admitting to a weakness, as if I was broken in some way! Also I couldn't bear that completely irrelevant and frankly hurtful question "but what are you depressed about...?"
Depressive episodes are horrible, but with experience I have learnt that they don't last forever, and I will emerge the other side eventually! One thing that helps me a great deal with my mental health is sewing. It lightens my mood, relieves my stress levels. It has given me a great deal of pleasure. The flow you achieve whilst making is really Zen-like, your mind clearing to focus on the detail. Now, I am not saying this would help whilst in a dark phase, but the joy that sewing brings helps lengthen the times between the gloom, and sustains happiness.
|Lots of wonderful sewing bloggers at our wonderful meet ups.|
|Brighton Sewing Bee at St Georges Church Kemptown.|
Life with depression is manageable; medication, friends, and the most supportive of husbands means that most of the time my life is good.
Well I've outed myself now and it feels liberating. Apparently 1 in 4 adults suffer with mental health problems. I hope that by being honest, I will encourage others to think about these issues. Thanks for reading.