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  • Writer's pictureMichael Holme

Amidst depression

Updated: Mar 29

Here's a brief suggestion for the more severely depressed. Depression is patently unmotivating, but when you feel like doing nothing, I might suggest two easier things.

When I had psychotic depression, thankfully my mum would force me out of bed every day, by tipping the mattress high enough that I'd fall onto the bedroom floor.

I didn't want to do much, but incidentally, and amazingly, I had started dabbling on the piano (maybe there's an extra thought there). However, when I just got going a little, I invariably enjoyed having a bath or a shower. A walk might have been doable too, and could also have made me feel a bit good about myself. However, I'd have to stand up: the settee was comfy; then go and get my coat, put it on, then my shoes as well. If they were lace-ups rather than slip-ons, it could have been a total "deal breaker".

In time, walking exposed a measure of the severity of my condition. At the bottom of the scale, slow laboured steps, a slumped body, both head and eyes down, and a purposeless demeanour, betrayed depression, whilst purposeful walking: chin high, as part of a generally confident body language, particularly if passing strangers, and with much more speed and straightness of path, gave away a more elated mood.

If you can move along that scale enough (and you might be needing meds if you struggle to rise until way into the afternoon everyday), my Holy Grail, is to get a dog. Not only must you walk it, but outdoors you will find you become more approachable by having a dog. I promise you that last outcome, because people shy away from mentally burdened looking loners. Frankly, that's what the realm of professionals, such as, therapists, counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, are there for.

A dog is a massive icebreaker, and in the UK alone, there has been an explosion in the popularity of their ownership.

Looking after a dog is a responsibility. That means your focus may shift a bit from you to the dog. That in itself is very mentally healthy.

Those who have heard the pre-eminent psychologist Jordan Peterson speaking, possibly on YouTube, will know of his emphasis on taking responsibility. He's worth checking out.

If possible then, improve your walking, maybe enjoy more baths, and start thinking about one day caring for a pet; even a hamster. I'm very serious, yes, because any living creature is a responsibility if it's in your care; including you!!

Jesus (the man, in my opinion) was recorded by St Luke, in chapter 16 verses 10 to 12 of his gospel, as saying people who can be trusted with little, can be trusted with much, and Jesus went on more. Perhaps he ultimately alluded to a responsibility for our own selves, then other people?

Most obviously though, for the love of "God", don't take street drugs, try to cut alcohol back, and if you're already working on nicotine cessation, I hope you nail it. I smoked for some decades too.

By the way, no-one is perfect, for example, I'm an overweight diabetic, couch potato. Please wish me luck also?

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