We need to talk about Collin*

I was recently talking to a friend about depression – we have both suffered with it off and on and they are one of the first people I go to when I’m ‘having a sad’. Talking to them made me think about my own history. I have always tried to be open about my mental health issues and in this spirit of openness, I’m going to talk about it again. My depression first reared its head after the birth of my daughter. It wasn’t PND, but the shitty childhood I had had was suddenly back in my mind as something I was determined my girl wouldn’t suffer. In retrospect, I’d had depression for most of my life but in the 1960s, wee lassies (or adults for that matter) from working class backgrounds had to suck it up and get on with it or...

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This will pass…

Depression is a bugger, isn’t it? You can be bumbling along, happy as Larry, nary a care in the world when you suddenly stop short. There before you is a huge black hole, sucking all the joy, the fun, the light from your life, leaving you empty and unable to put one foot in front of the other. I’ve had depression for years. It comes and goes and I’m used to it, yet each time I feel the black dog pawing at me, it takes me by surprise. The depth of the darkness that envelopes me never seems so bad from the distance. Just as nature makes women forget just how horrendous childbirth is, being emotionally level pulls a veil over the horror of depression and it pulls the feet out from under me. Every single time. I’ve been going through a dark...

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A Wee Black Dog

I made a quiet promise to myself that I was going to blog once a week this year. I didn’t ‘go public’ with it because that just adds pressure and makes me less likely to do it, just to be awkward. I’m like that. Anyhoo, for a variety of reasons too boring and personal to go into, I feel I’m slipping back into a depressive period again. I tell you this not to get sympathy; Lord knows, there are many far, far worse than me out there. I tell you because I’m not ashamed of mental illness and if I had broken my leg I’d certainly be moaning long and hard about that.  I’ve been through enough depressive periods to recognise the symptoms by now. I withdraw, get quiet, get irrationally angry at little things. Thank gawd I have the maturity to hold my tongue in work...

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Writing As Therapy: A Guest Post by talented Writer Avery Caswell

I am delighted to welcome talented writer Avery Caswell to my blog today. Avery has written a beautiful book called ‘Luck’ available from Amazon UK and Amazon US. She is currently seeking representation for her new book, Conjure Silver.  I am particularly happy to have this post because I, too, have found writing to be very therapeutic: my hard drive is littered with sad and angry letters written to people and never posted. I’ll pass you over to Avery who can explain it to you far more eloquently than I.   Writing As Therapy   I write for the same reason I breathe. Because if I didn’t I’d die.  —Isaac Asimov    Let’s face it, this has been a hard year. Like most people, my household income is stagnant while the price of everything from gas...

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The Black Dog and the Virtual World

I have written this additional blog post about depression and the power of social media as part of Sane’s Virtual Black Dog campaign. I have had depression off and on for most of my life. It wasn’t diagnosed until just after my daughter was born, 17 years ago, but the symptoms were there long before that. Until recently, it’s something I kept quiet about. While I wasn’t quite ‘ashamed’ of my illness, I certainly didn’t go around talking about it. After all, I’d seen how mental illness was treated on television, in the movies, by my neighbours… To admit to mental illness was to admit to madness and to invite the status of social pariah upon oneself. You’d almost think it was infectious. By a happy coincidence, just when my depression was at its worst the internet...

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