Look what you may have missed

Well its fair to say the writers block has been lifted after 9 months! The longest writing streak since 2014 and its been great to see people reading my words again.

There has been 12 posts since 23rd April and I’ve noticed that most get read on the day but once new content arrives its quickly consigned to history. So with that in mind I thought I would put links to all the recent posts here.

There is a little bit of everything from poetry in my own unique awful style, to trying to be positive with reasons to be cheerful. I have even been lucky enough to have people take the time to write posts for me to share about how coronavirus is impacting them.

Below are the links for each new post. Check them out, pearls of wisdom in each one..well hopefully that is the case but if you dont read them you will never know….

Isolation and Mental Health

Coronavirus thoughts and guest posts #1

The trouble with me

Reasons to be cheerful. The kiddies..

Coronavirus thoughts and guest posts #2

Reasons to be cheerful. Cala Millor

And it will be ok eventually

In the beginning and what next for The Depressed Moose

Coronavirus and guest posts #3

Reasons to be cheerful Puerto De La cruz

Reasons to be cheerful. Loro Parque

Ode to Coronavirus

Coronavirus and guest posts #3

I secretly hoped this would happen without me having to ask, you see Karl has graced us with in his own words “a rambling incoherent blog post” and knowing him as well as I do…that’s exactly what he has written.

Dont forget if you want to contribute please do get in touch. I’m hoping that there will be more of these guest blogs coming soon!!

Over to you Karl….

Quarantine day 2056..So how are you coping in this coronavirus ‘lockdown’?… i have officially watched everything on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Pornhub… tomorrow there will be huge decisions to be made about whether i start my own religion or not!

Its not unusual to be faced with a mild case of insanity in these modern times, we already live in a world where a 72 year old toddler is the most powerful man in the world, and social media has all our anxiety turned up to 11.. but in this lockdown things you and I took for granted are taken away from us, all be it temporarily, and the little things you didn’t even think about are suddenly glaringly missing from our lives. I miss McNuggets!

Though when it does come down to sanity it is often best to try and keep it in check. I have noticed that the more time people are spending at home the more they are slipping into their own personal conspiracy theory led alternate universe where mobile phone signals are spreading virus’.. they are not!

Do not chug the disinfectant! It will kill you!

There is no reason to believe that everyone (government or otherwise) is lying to you.. that’s just social media hyperbole. #chill

Even thought this lockdown is testing the very outer limits of being a couch potato, you have to understand that all the measures and restrictions that are put in place are for the greater good (the greater goooood). Stay At Home, Save the NHS, Save Lives.

And I have kids and parents that need protecting so here I am, doing my bit.. sitting in a box awaiting this to blow over!

I must confess though I myself have dabbled with a weird mental state since lockdown.
My sleep patterns have all but flipped to the point I am more of a nocturnal beast now, there is something quite cathartic about taking your exercise in the dead of night with nobody about but it has made keeping track of the days slightly more problematic…i was sitting awaiting a Music Mix that always appears online at 9am on a Friday, getting increasingly annoyed that this little slice of entertainment hasn’t come to light up my life and.. everything is ruined I might as well blow myself up and never see anyone or do anything again and….. Oh its Thursday!!! never mind….

The other day I seemed to have minor breakdown… I find it is causing me to swear at inanimate objects! I referred to the toaster as cting fking pr*ck!
I feel ashamed about the way I treated the toaster.. I shall have to find ways to make it up to it! I might buy some nicer bread this week, maybe Hovis extra thick!

Almost 6 weeks into this lockdown and I admit, even though I am a massive fan of my own company, I am also annoying the bee’geezus out of myself! I keep putting things down and forgetting where I left them and then I have this full on internal argument (that strangely sounds a lot like my former marriage) to the point that I sit down in a huff with myself and I wont talk to myself for 3 hours!

And as it goes I do sometimes feel the need to have a little bit of human interaction.. this is where I have all of sudden made the bold claim that biscuits are in fact ‘essentials’ I have often referred to a nice packet of mcvities shortcakes as antidepressants, for some reason they lift my spirits!
But I digress, but in going on the quest for crumbly sugary greatness I get to go to Tesco and see people, adhering to social distancing at all times.. if anyone gets too close I just scream like a banshee.. but its good to see people doing something a little bit normal. . And the brief conversations with the checkout girl sort me out for a couple of days..

Due to personal circumstance I find myself on my own a lot, over the last decade and a half I was often quite isolated, this was down to an abusive relationship that essentially cut ties with all my friends except the die hard few, and the fact that even after the relationship was over there was fallout.. so in the last few years I made an effort to get out there, I found my place in society and a spot at the bar in the local pub and made good friends and greater friends rekindled the friendship with the Moose, and things have been dire but manageable with the people around me.. And that is one of the startling realisations I have had since lockdown.. even though I hate people, I am a people person!! work that one out Sigmund Freud?!

Anyways… I don’t know what your plans are for the rest of the week are but the community of small rodents i have been cultivating as a replacement dominant species to the human race (just in case this coronavirus thing went apocalyptic) have rebelled on me and renounced me being their God.. i am a benevolent God and i could have smite them swiftly… but using a small pipe and a bit of compressed air i have launched them into Mrs Hughes, at No 57, back garden.. They chose this fate and now it’s up to them to survive her herd of 25 cats.

BeSafe #BeNice #BeKind #DontBeADick

Coronavirus thoughts and guest posts #2

The second contribution to my request for guest blogs during this pandemic comes from an unexpected source. I reached out to her personally and asked her to write as I know she is still working incredibly hard as a carer/support worker. One of the wonderful people we clap for on a Thursday night.

Debbie has been a great friend for the last 7 or 8 years and is a huge supporter of this blog so it’s an honour for me that she gave up some of her precious time to write for me and you.

A gentle reminder if you would like to write anything about how this lockdown period is affecting you please contact me via facebook, twitter, Instagram or email direct at thedepressedmoose@hotmail.com.

Over to you Debbie, and thank you once again…..

Lockdown for a Support Worker

Day #7264869, or whatever time, day, month or year it ACTUALLY is!!

I am a Support Worker, supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism, so I still have to go to work, just the same as I did before the lockdown.
I work in a community that has supported living houses and flats, and I work in a house where there are 8 vulnerable adults living there, all with different needs and personal challenges, all cooped up under one roof. As you can imagine, it can be a bit chaotic on a “normal” day, when people have the routine of workshops, day centres, 1-1 times out shopping, etc, never mind in lockdown, when this routine has abruptly stopped!!!

For a lot of the people we support, they lack the full capacity to understand WHY this has happened. As support workers, it is our job to go to work and try to keep them focussed and positive and occupied, in a time when we don’t have the answers to the questions that they keep asking…

”When can I go and see my family?”,

“When can I go and do my own shopping?”,

“Why can’t I go for a drive out to the seaside/cinema/pub?”

It can be very difficult, and when you are on long shifts, sleepovers or night shifts, and you get these questions SEVERAL times each shift, by each person we support, it can be very emotionally draining, but, we keep our “professional” heads on and try to explain it for the hundredth time, in a way that will pacify each person. (For a short time, anyway).

BUT….When we go home, how do WE cope with the sudden change in everyday life? How do WE keep positive and focussed, when all around us is uncertainty? I live alone, with only my dog as company, as my kids have flown the nest and have built lives of their own, for which I am immensely proud. After all, that’s a Mother’s job, isn’t it? To teach her fledglings to fend for themselves? Job Done!!!!!!

When the lockdown was first introduced, I was like, “Well it’s not going to make a difference to my routine. All I do anyway, is go to work, come home, walk the dog and do my shopping, and I will just be doing exactly the same!”. And I am really comfortable in my own company, so it won’t affect me……

Here we are, over a month later, and YES, my routine is still the same; YES, I am still comfortable in my own company; BUT….I am not allowed to pop and see the kids, nor are they allowed to pop and see me. 😦 I still, very briefly, and from a distance, see my eldest daughter and her husband, as they take care of my dog when I am on long shifts, so we do a “poochy handover”, but, it’s not the same.

I NEED to hug my kids, feel them close, kiss them, spend time with them for a catch up, and it is THAT which I am really struggling with!! Some days, I sit, and my mind goes into overdrive, as I am sure it does with a lot of people, and I end up with a train of thought that takes me through dark tunnels…

What if the lockdown continues for a LONG time?

What if I take ill at home, on my own, unable to raise the alarm?

What if something happens to one of my kids, and I can’t be there?

This is what scares me, raises my anxieties. My kids are my life, without them, I have no purpose. I need them. I think, in all honesty, these thoughts and feelings have always been there since my final fledgling flew the nest, but I could go and see them when I wanted to, and this was my safety net. That safety net has been taken away, and I now realise that going to work, keeping that routine, has become my new safety net.

When I go to work, I don’t have time to overthink, I am too busy. When I go to work, I get the social interaction with others. When I go to work, I have some ‘normality’. I am VERY lucky to still be able to go to work. I am VERY lucky that it only takes me 15 minutes to walk to work. I am VERY lucky to work in such a beautiful community, in such beautiful surroundings, and to be able to go for long walks with the people we support, whilst remaining inside that community.

This is what keeps ME focussed. This is what keeps ME positive. This is what helps ME to do my job properly, knowing that the people we support are safe, happy and busy. I know not everyone is in such a privileged position, and I have realised that, if I couldn’t go to work, MY mental health would deteriorate rapidly!! So I am so very thankful to be a Support Worker…..

Coronavirus thoughts and guest posts #1

On my facebook page I extended an invitation to my followers to write about how this strange period of time and the impact it has, and is having.

This works two fold from my point of view. Hopefully it will increase exposure to my blog and get me inspired again, and secondly it could help other people get their thoughts and feelings out there to share with others.

It could also be a great way to connect with new people.. so if you would like to contribute contact me and I happily post on here

So this morning I was delighted to receive an email from someone known only as “The Anonymous Fox”. I have no idea who this person is, where they are from but how lovely it is to be able to share this with you.

Another day, another thought – and those might not worth a penny. Forgive me for I am just babbling from my nearly-asleep state of mind. In every situation there is a part of good and a part of bad, even now.I am an optimistic, I am a smile, I am a laugh, I am the will to always keep going on. I am the shoulder and I am the strong one. And yet, I am not unbreakable.A very wise wizard once said that happiness can always be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.I did find myself in dark times. Once, twice, many times. I was in one of these before the world starts shutting down and, in a weird way, it might have helped me.Quarantine is hard, no one likes the cold feeling of loneliness. It might be hard to NOT be alone in lockdown, stuck with an annoying flatmate or worse. It might be hard to keep your mind away from the thoughts you fight when you cannot work anymore. On the model of Rapunzel in her tower, you read, you paint, you write, you dance. I do. I finish a book and I cry, good tears, tears for the story, not my own tears. I enjoy the sun, burning my skin, and it reminds me good memories. I paint, so I can share, I can create, I can tell my mother that I am doing something of my time. I listen to sad songs, I cry over the map of life not being as clear and precise as I want it to be. But then I listen to happy song, songs that make me feel a sunshine in my heart. I drink coffee and wine and eat chocolate, because I do exercise now and it make me feel less guilty. I play with the cat, scratch her furry belly and feel the love in her eyes. She doesn’t understand why I am at home so much, but she seems to like it. I feel important in someone’s life.Sure, I am bored. Sure, I want to smother the dragon I have in place of a flatmate. Sure, I am worried about my future. Sure, I miss my family.But I weirdly feel more alive since my life as I knew it stopped.I am not familiar with depression. I cannot speak a universal truth. I don’t have any magic. But I know for sure that taking a step back, using this lockdown and social distancing, might be a good time to focus on yourself and which simples moments make you whole.Pavares said “you do not remember days, you remember moments”Turn on the light and try on anything. You might be missing on something stupid but that will yet make your heart smile for once.Turn this situation around and make it your own mind vacation     –  A. F. “

Guest Post – Mark

I have followed Mark for a long time on twitter and he is someone I have great respect for! I was delighted when he agreed to write a post for my blog and I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

Music is helping Mark in is recovery and you will be pleased to know I have added his songs to the blog below.

This post may be triggering for some as it talks about suicide so please be careful if this subject may be too much for you… now over to Mark


My story starts on Oct 17th 2001. The day my life changed forever.  I was working as a musician and working for a production company. I also ran 4 performing art schools for children. That day was a normal working day for me another gig another show. During that day we were on the road driving towards the venue when I was involved in a severe road traffic accident. I was a passenger and we were hit by a drunk driver coming round the corner at high-speed. That’s the moment the lights went out and one life ended and another life began. People were killed but I ended up in hospital seriously injured.  So began a long dark journey. I suffered broken bones and a brain injury. After months of recovery it became very apparent that I was not the same anymore. Headway got involved and so began the long slow process of starting life again and trying to recover only now it was different.  I suffered a frontal lobe brain injury. My emotions and everything about my personality had changed. I also found I couldn’t do what I used to do so on that day I had my life stolen from me. Another way of putting it is I was raped of my life. Months went into years and years. I was diagnosed with clinical depression PTSD and borderline personality disorder.

During the following years I attempted to take my own life on several occasions.  From taking overdoses to standing on a train track waiting for a train to come. The train didnt come. Once I was allowed to drive again I also drove to the lake district and took another overdose but some how I was found by the police and was rushed to hospital. We lost our house our cars are savings and most of what we owned .During this time I spent a lot of time inside an acute psychiatric hospital on a secure ward . I did not want to live any more because my life had ended as I saw it , I couldn’t earn the money I was earning and I couldn’t look after my family. My family went through hell my wife wanted to leave me and my children needed counselling. Such was the damage on our lives. During this time I was given a CPN called Kelly Perkins . She turned out to be an angel a saviour . I now owe my life to her. Along with many talking therapies  CBT and others. She along with Lyn Atkins another angel from headway kept us together as a family. Without their help we would not be together today.
Another problem I encountered was the lack of understanding from some family members. Often stigma is very close to home and  on one occasion drove me to another suicide attempt.

In 2010 we decided that the best thing we could do was to move to try and start again as everything around us reminded us of our old life. We moved from Bedfordshire to Dorset.  We settled into a quiet life by the sea. This was the first time I was trying to live a new life with some hope. Sadly during the spring of 2013 I suffered a relapse and ended back inside an acute ward. I was again suffering extreme anxiety depression and suicide thoughts again.
During my stay I found an old guitar and for some reason I started to play a bit again. This resulted in my wife bringing in my guitar.  I now found I had words and songs pouring out of me so I started to write and write.

During this time I had also started to become aware of Dorset Mental Health Forum. Somehow through my recovery this time I found a new purpose and that was that I had a passion for mental health issues and all the songs I was writing was about my lived experience , I had found a new voice and so I started to talk more openly about it. I was on a new meds regime and these were starting to work. I then found myself having meetings with Dorset Mental Health Forum. This led to me getting involved with something called Tea and Talking in conjunction with Time To Change leading to becoming a peer specialist for the forum now I had found a new purpose in life and that was to spread the message of recovery and to tackle stigma. I have been recording all the new material which is now nearly finished and will be available soon. Recently I was inspired to write a song for the Time to Talk campaign which I have done. I have also been asked to write a song for Blue Apple Hero’s about PTSD .
My passion and focus is now on raising awareness and sending out a message through music and speaking that recovery is possible even from the darkest place. I will live with what I have for the rest of my life but thanks to some great people and of course my wife who has suffered greatly  and family I move on to a new life, one that is wanting to see and help others who suffer . That’s my lived experience and I share it in the hope that it brings you hope.

Mark Storey

Mark can be found on twitter here

If you would like to submit a post for this blog please get in touch with me via twitter/facebook or email using the contact page

Introducing Jonathan Rottenberg

As I have a lot of readers from the United States I jumped at the chance to allow Jonathan to write a guest post. He is the man behind a wonderful campaign that I hope I can help him build up. Please read his post below and share with the world!!


A New Campaign to Raise Depression Awareness and Crush Depression Stigma: Come Out of The Dark

Our national conversation about depression for the last twenty years has been on hold, largely reduced to a narrow dialogue about the promise and peril of antidepressants: “To Prozac, or not to Prozac?”  Peter Kramer’s Listening to Prozac raised expectations that antidepressants would soon make depression obsolete. As this proved not to be the case, there was the predictable backlash. In Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic, antidepressants (and other psychotropic medications) are not only ineffective, but the villain, responsible for worsening the epidemic of mental illness. The next movement will be a backlash to the backlash. If we do nothing different, we can conclude with supreme confidence that all the heated talk about drugs will continue to monopolize the stage and preclude a real conversation about mood and mood disorders.

The continued ascendance of the conventional disease model of depression is part of the problem. The conventional approach tends to view the legions of the depressed and the formerly depressed as a “broken” people, an ever-afflicted group that will likely need repeated assistance over the life course because of their theorized defects. The biological defect model may have been created with good intentions, but it is both belittling and inaccurate. Depression like any mood state has a biology but it is simply not a disease in the same sense that Parkinson’s Disease is.  To try to maintain that depression is a brain disease is to cut off a more interesting conversation at the knees.

I am a depression researcher and former depression sufferer who has looked at the poor state of the national dialogue and has been moved to try and change it. I am using social media, particularly Facebook,  and Twitter to start a movement of people committed to changing the conversation about depression. We desperately need this not only for adults. We also desperately need it for my daughter, Sophie, and for the rest of her generation, the teens who will soon be young adults. Our youth will face depression in high schools and on college campuses in epidemic proportions that will overwhelm them, their parents, and all counseling resources.

One major obstacle to a more affirmative national conversation is that depression has lacked a unifying public symbol that could bring it out of the dark like Livestrong© bracelets did for cancer or the rainbow flag did for LGBT. When most people think of depression, their first associations are to unfortunate images, such as a dark cloud, the color black, or a noose. One reason that depression stigma lives is that depression has a serious bumper sticker problem.

But this is essentially an issue of failed marketing and messaging. It is very hard to talk about depression when it is always on societies’ terms. Depressed and formerly depressed people are ever on the defensive. To change the terms of the debate, and spark more productive conversation.  I have developed a unifying symbol to function in a depression anti-stigma campaign. These are glow-in-the-dark wristbands that are printed with the phrase COME OUT OF THE DARK.

Come Out of the dark wristbands

This summer, I was using my Facebook page to probe for interest in these wristbands and I made an offer that I would give away a glow-in-the dark wristband to anyone who would be willing to send me a picture of themselves wearing it. I bought 200 bands from China and planned to give them away from time to time to readers who were interested. Initial response was rather tepid and I started to think it would be complete flop. For reasons that I do still do not completely understand, the wristbands went viral on the internet, and I was flooded with 3,000 requests from all over the world.

I received requests from parents for their depressed children. From people who lost loved ones to suicide. From teachers for their classrooms. From therapists for their patients. From counselors for their support groups. And from many individuals who have been touched personally by depression, both those who have conquered depression and those who were still struggling with.

I think that part of the viral appeal of the wristband campaign is the slogan, which has several possible meanings

•   Let’s end society’s ignorance about depression.

•    Let’s support depressed people so they get well and stay well.

•     Let’s create an environment where people can speak freely about depression and no one feels compelled to conceal their pain.

And part of the appeal is that total strangers are giving you something for free that will make you feel more comfortable living in your own skin.

By the end of the year my goal is to have distributed 5,000 of these wristbands.

People who have received the wristbands are starting to return pictures. If you look at this gallery of the first wave of people who have come out of the dark, I think you can more easily understand why this campaign has taken on a life of its own. It’s both a social media campaign and a word-of-mouth campaign – both of which inevitably will shift the conversation about depression on more favorable terms.

The great response to the Come-Out-of-The-Dark campaign so far tells me that change is in the wind. People are tired of hiding, tired of hedging. They are ready to reclaim their identities as fully human.

The stakes are high. Conservatively, 13 million US adults are currently in an episode of depression; more than twice that number have had depression in the past. When we add in caregivers, millions more are indirectly affected by the quality and the quantity of our national dialogue about depression.

But we have the momentum. With your help, I give the stigma of depression about another six months to live. I welcome help of all kinds. As of this moment, I am still offering the free wristbands. All you need to do to receive one is to be one of the next 1,000 people to sign up to receive my free newsletter (US addresses).


Jonathan Rottenberg is a leading researcher in the area of emotion and psychopathology, where he has focused on major depression. He recently edited Emotion and Psychopathology: Bridging Affective and Clinical Science, published by the American Psychological Association. Since receiving his PhD degree from Stanford University, he has been at the University of South Florida, where he is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Mood and Emotion Laboratory. His work has been generously funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and he has authored over 35 scientific publications, including many in the top journals in psychology and psychiatry. His work has received national and international media coverage, reported in outlets such as Science News, Scientific American, The New York Times. He is author of the forthcoming book, The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic.

Blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/charting-the-depths
Book: http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0465022219
Author page: https://www.facebook.com/charting.the.depths

Guest Post – Cagsy

Since my teen years, (now reaching nearer the half century mark), I have struggled with life.  Never being able to find the balance.

Always been up and down like a yo-yo, but have found over the years, that I have more downs and feeling unhappy most of the time.
I don;t take anti-depressants, as they really disagree with me.
Recently I had BeMe contact me for an assessment to offer me therapy, as I have been through so much in life, and
still have family issues today, which I find hard at times, especially when lots of things happen in a short space of time.
Those are the times I can’t cope with.  Going back to therapy. They rang me, and I talked to them for around 45 mins, only to
be told I was too depressed for therapy!
Shortly after my appointment with my psychiatrist came through, I spent 2 and a half hours talking to her about my troubled past
with my Dad who is a recluse now, (he is 83), he doesn’t see anyone including me – i keep trying thou.  My abusive marriage, which
has left me with PTSD, my son whom has tried to kill himself and ended up in a unit for one week, I had to voluntarily section him.
And for the last couple of years, struggling with my girl, who is 13, with raging hormones and ADHD and other complexed needs.
Plus my childhood and the abuse I suffered.  So, over the years, no one to really talk too about this, it all came flooding out. Relief – yes.
But also couldn’t see a way out, at which this point the psychiatrist thought about sectioning me as she thought I could have been a danger
to myself.
After convincing her I wouldn’t do anything silly, she decided to let me go. I cried all the way home, but tears of relief as she listened to me.
Really listened to all my heartache and pain. To which I truthfully realized, talking is good. It’s just you have to be careful, who with.
At the moment I am finding life hard again, I don’t have a social life, because I have to be here for my daughter for her extreme random behaviour.
Which is challenging at times. But she is important and my top priority.  I don’t have any support for myself, or for her. I do still suffer from
depression, but not as much as I used too. If I feel under the weather, or I get really low, I normally go to bed, or use distraction, as in the form
of my kindle, where I can lose myself playing games on it and forget about the world as a whole. My friends are all busy with their lives,
and I can’t really go out anywhere at the moment, Sometimes I think my life is doomed, but then we have to make the most of it.
As I say, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just often we don’t see it.


Read Cagsy’s blog here

you can also follow her on twitter

Moosey Takes A Break… And needs Your Help

For the next week or so I am going to be taking a wee break from this blog.

Going to keep myself busy with things around the flat that need a good clean and hopefully decorate as well. If any of you live in the east London area and have some paint that you dont want please consider donating it to me so I can get cracking as I can’t afford paint yet LOL or anything that may help make this flat spotless considered.

So here is your chance to have your say while I am gone…

As always the opportunity for you to write a post for this blog is open and here is your time to shine.

Any topic on depression is wanted, be it from a sufferers perspective or from someone who lives with a person with depression. Any subject any topic related to depression is open for you to get things off your chest and share with the followers of the moose.

Please send me an email at thedepressedmoose at hotmail dot com with your post and I will get it uploaded – no words limit, as many or as few posts as you feel able to write. just give me a name to use and/or a link to your twitter account or any link you wish to share.

I feel amazing still and now want to make the place look great too!

See you on the other side, I hope that there will be some guest posts coming your way soon!

Rose is Back For a 3rd Time

As always I am happy for people to get in touch if they wish to write a post about depression. The more people we can get talking about it the better it becomes for everyone. Don’t be shy get in touch via the contact page! Garry


The talking trouble.

One thing that is mostly done against depression is talking, to either a psychiatrist, therapist or psychiatric nurse. Some people find it very pleasant to talk about their problems, I am not such a person. So what do you do when talking difficult?

1: information

when I first came to the psychiatrist and therapist, I had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me. This made the whole thing a lot more scarier, many thoughts went through me. “do I have to tell everything about me?” “are my problems big enough?” “what will he/she think of me?”. “what if I can’t answer their questions ?”.

I will answer those questions now.

1 no, you only have to tell what you are comfortable to share, a relationship of trust between doctor/therapist/nurse and patient has to grow, he/she knows this too.

2 if something is bothering you it is important/big enough to talk about it. 3 these people are trained not to judge you and are ultimately there to help you and its good to keep in mind that they see a lot of people and heard a lot of story’s, you are not alone with these problems and there is always someone weirder then you. 4 then you say “I don’t know” or “I have to think about it”

it’s also good to be aware of the rules of confidentially where he/she is bound by, everything you say in therapy or with a doctor stays between you and him/her. There are exceptions to the rule, when you say anything that makes them believe you are a dangerous to yourself or anyone else they have to take action to ensure safety even if that means breaking confidentially.

Some countries have laws that say that they have to report abuse when the victim is someone who can’t protect themselves (like a child). It’s easy to find on the internet what the law says about that in your country.

When you are a child (under 18) its good to inform yourself about if and when your parents or legal guardians are informed. You can also talk to the therapist/doctor about what he/she will say if they do inform them.

You have rights as a patient and its good to look into them before you go for your first meeting, you will know where you stand.

2: questions

when you are with a therapist or doctor they like to ask a lot of questions but keep in mind that you can also question them, its important to understand what they are doing to help you and if something doesn’t make sense to you question them about it. If after the session you think of some things that don’t make sense, write them down to ask about it next time.

3 : pen and paper.

Talking about problems, especially emotional problems is not easy and sometimes you just cant say what you want to let them know. It’s okay to write these things down either before or even during the session and let them read it. In the beginning I always had a letter with me with the things I wanted to talk about. It is a good way to get the conversation started and let them know what is important for you at that time.

My therapist and psychiatrist even let me email them when being in the same room when they are reading the letter is too scary.

4. you’re the boss

its good to know that if you are an adult your therapist/doctor can’t do anything without your consent (if you are a child its your parents/guardians consent they need). The only exceptions to the rule is if you’re or anyone else’s safety is in danger and even then they need a judge to sign off on it.

Also in the conversation the doctor/therapist will follow your lead, so you decide about what you talk but you also decide if you don’t want to talk about something or if you had enough for that session, you are not obligated to fill the hour.

5. when it doesn’t click switch

therapist and doctors are also just people and there are no two alike. You can for example have 5 very good doctors and feel more comfortable with one then the others, they also have their own style and it doesn’t always match your needs. So if you don’t feel good with one, see if you can go to another. They also know that and understand that it just doesn’t always click and won’t feel personally offended by that you want to switch.

All this doesn’t make it easy to talk but maybe just a bit more manageable. I think everyone is a bit scared when they have to talk about the most personal feelings, you feel vulnerable and that is very understandable. But even when talking is difficult as it is for me, it can feel good to let it out and have someone who understands you and that makes it worth the effort.

Guest Post – Rose Returns!

I am interested in what distractions people use when dealing with their mental health. I asked on twitter if anyone was willing to write a guest post about distractions and Rose sent this in! Rose also wrote a guest blog for me recently and I am delighted she has returned!

The original post she wrote can be found here

Over to you Rose….


The art of distraction.

Why would I need distraction ?

When you are depressed there are many things that can help you to feel better, sulking about it isn’t one of them. It’s not hard to understand that sitting on the sofa or lying in bed all day isn’t going to make you happy, especially when your thoughts are mainly about the fact that you are not happy.

Now even though it’s not very helpful, it is natural that your depression is on your mind a lot, it’s a feeling that is impossible to ignore.

This is one of the reasons why distraction is recommended by healthcare professionals, to keep your mind busy with other things.

You might wonder why not just not think about bad things then ? Well, the best answer on that you can give yourself, with help of a little experiment.

When you are reading the rest of this post, don’t think about a cuddly pink bear, whatever you do don’t think about that cuddly pink bear! Got it? Good.

Another reason is that doing things that you use to enjoy can bring back the feeling of enjoyment. It won’t be there immediately and you might need support of medication to be able to feel enjoyment again but when there is any change its best noticeable with those things you use to love doing.

simple but not easy

when you are depressed, you don’t really want to do anything.

Especially when you are deep in the depression.

Then everything is heavy, its like walking with cement blocks on your legs and you are already tired before you even begin. Your concentration is gone and you are pretty sure that you will fail at everything you try.

Naturally your instinct is to just stay in bed and wait until it’s over but as we discussed earlier, that won’t help. It’s very hard to any motivation to do anything but keep remembering that it is important in getting better.

Last year I came to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to do anything any more and I was taking into hospital. In the psych ward they also work with distraction, they had a whole program mainly meant as a way to keep your mind occupied. That the program wasn’t optional helped me into doing things again, for a long time I just did them because I had to but then there where moments where I began to like it again. Following the program wasn’t optional what was a good thing as I wouldn’t have done it if it was.

What helped me a lot when I came out of hospital is having someone who reminded me that it was important to keep doing things and someone to help make plans so I didn’t spend too much time on thinking about what to do. Also a gentle kick in the behind is at times just what I need.

My favourite distractions

this is what I love doing the most, writing. Not only (hopefully) informative post but also fiction in form of short stories and poems usually. Also I am working on a novel that I would love to finish and publish it someday.

I often write as now in English but my novel really will be in my native language, Dutch.

It’s not only working as a distraction for me but is also therapeutic as writing is a good way to express myself.

There are times when writing is just too difficult because it requires either thought or inspiration, neither is my depressed brain very good in.

reading is also something I really like, when I find that I can’t concentrate enough to read myself I find that audio-books are a good alternative.

I also like to puzzle, I make simple soduku’s on my phone or on paper. Jigsaw puzzles are also a great thing to do. I puzzle quite obsessively and often, it works quite calming for me and gives a feeling of accomplishment when its finished. When concentration is low I stick to simple and small puzzles so it doesn’t become frustrating.

Games on phone or computer are also often played and the tv is well watched.

With dry weather I try to get out of the house at least once a day. before this week it was always work that forced me out but work had due to all kind of thing become too stressful so now I am home. So now I walk and bicycle to get my fresh air (exercise is good for body and mind)

another thing that I have to watch on is that I am not days alone, this is a difficult one for me.

I do have the need for social contact and others are a great source of enjoyment and distraction but getting in touch with people isn’t easy for me as an autistic person. I go by a friend and to my parents from time to time but don’t want to bother them too much. Not sure how I am going to solve that one to be honest but I’ll find a way.

About that bear

if our little experiment has worked (and if this post wasn’t too distracting) you will have found that you never have thought so much about a cuddly pink bear as you did now. When you try not to think about something then in trying to do that you constantly remembering not to think about it what causes you to think about it.

Redirecting your mind to something else is far more effective than just trying not to think about it.