Time to Talk
One thing that frustrates me greatly when I talk to my friends, family and colleagues about mental health is how often I hear the phrase “I just don’t know what to say, so I don’t say anything”.
It’s a prevalent problem. There is lot of focus on encouraging sufferers of depression and anxiety to open up and talk. Facebook and social media postings to remind sufferers that someone is listening go up regularly. It’s important that such messages are there.
But there is the flip side. If 1 in 4 of us suffer from mental health issues, then there are 3 in 4 of us potentially keeping silent because we’re scared of saying the wrong thing.
Here at Pushing Back the Shadows, what we are trying to encourage is to remind supporters that it’s ok to talk. Even if you don’t know what to say, the person you care about will appreciate that effort. It may also save a life.
No doubt you’ve seen in the news the tragic deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Talented people who have been taken by the insidious disease of depression. Their passing is a testament to how utterly devastating depression can be. Creative, brilliant men with what would seem like everything they could wish for; dead because they lost the battle against their mental illness.
It’s terrible that suicide was how their stories end, but it is having one positive effect: people are talking about depression and mental health. Now we just need to break down that fear of saying the wrong thing. We’ll all make mistakes, maybe say the wrong thing, but by going completely silent we’re leaving our loved ones to battle with the negative thoughts that depression creates alone.
We need to stop being afraid, stop being silent. My pick this week is aimed to encourage all of us who are afraid to begin the conversations. If you’re scared about talking to someone who is suffering with depression,. I’d entreat you to read our series Talking Things Through, work your way through because it will give you some tools to help you with these conversations.
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