If you are lonely, have few social outlets, low self confidence or self esteem, then the summer months can be challenging. You may find it difficult to go out on your own, if others are out as couples, families or groups of friends, and you have no one to share the summer with. Seeing others apparently living the life you wish you had can make you feel worse about your own situation.
Sleep has been so undervalued that being deprived of it has become a boast. However, when you factor in The Third Metric, this anti-sleep mentality suddenly seems ridiculously skewed. After all, what's the point of attaining all that solvency and influence if you're so tired you stumble through it all like a zombie?
"After all this time might I be Bi-Polar rather than still suffering from PTSD?" was the question I posed to Anton Kruger, my psychologist, in March of this year. The reasoning for my question was that it is coming up for 14 years since the train crash which is a significant amount of time. Surely I must be over it by now?
Our bodies are cleverer than our minds. When we are truly tired, we will fall asleep. Sleeping is a natural action. You don't have to do anything to get to sleep. It is not humanly possible to stay awake forever. The one topic that mustn't be on one's list of worries is sleep itself. That is what can stop you from sleeping and make you ill, both physically and psychologically.
Having someone to help you reach the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is one of the best things about being in a relationship. But when your lover crosses the line from "supportive partner" to "therapist", it can have catastrophic results - both for the relationship, and also for your health.
I'm so appreciative of my mom's hard work, the generosity of our guests, family flying in, and my wonderful step kids, but I just need a break from the craziness. I've shut myself in my room to write this right now and am longingly staring at the trees swaying in the wind. I yearn to be calm as they are; I long to be at peace in nature. I need an escape from the noise.
Losing friends or family always makes you contemplate about life. Maybe it's also about being older and having different priorities, understanding that it's not the material things that really make a difference or bring happiness. When I was told the news that my friend had passed away I remember my immediate reaction was 'I thought there was more time.'
I stand here silently for about 5 minutes paying attention to the sensations of my breathing and heartbeat, as well as the sound of birdsong all around me. I find this silence and solitude deeply enjoyable, but this has not always been the case -- in fact, I used to hate it.
I have a bugbear, and that is the way resilience is described as simply bouncing back. Here is the thing. We all bounce back from the rubbish life throws at us one way or another. That in itself is not resilience. Resilience is the way we adapt and respond to the rubbish life throws at us. This will either strengthen or weaken your resilience over the years.
Perhaps the conservatives will soon realise that the increase in depression in children, teenagers and adults is something that needs addressing and the support through NHS counselling should be in place, rather than forcing the support, it should be offered without long, unnecessary waiting lists.
Not everyone has a propensity to deal with such difficulties - even if those difficulties are likely to be temporary because the mentally ill party is receiving treatment. And I don't think that's being prejudiced or discriminatory. That's just the reality.
A disgruntled workforce is an unproductive one, I hear you cry. A job should not cost you your mental health. I'd agree. But I want to issue a warning: One of the worst things you can do in your career and in your life more generally, is to keep complaining about your working situation.
In the middle of the night, and subject to the double sense of isolation which depression and wakefulness at that time brings, I would repeat snatched lines of poetry to myself. I wasn't alone after all.
For 20 years I spoke through my skin because I couldn't find the right words. Instead of a best friend to play with, I had a pair of scissors. And instead of a voice, I got stuck on a merry-go-round of bottling things in and bleeding them out. The question I often get asked is 'why'; what could make me feel so low that I would want to drag a blade across my own flesh. Having had nearly two decades to gnaw over an answer, I'm still not really sure, other than - being brutally honest - I think I liked it. It wasn't about the injury I inflicted though, cutting never deviated towards sadomasochism, it was about searching for contentment.
Depression reduces your length of life as much as smoking does... pay for more psychological therapy and it will cost you nothing because of the savings on physical healthcare. The finances of healthcare actually improve through spending more on therapy.
The cost of doing nothing or simply settling for gradual change runs to billions of pounds, but the real cost is measured in human misery, misery for want of determination to act on the evidence.