- 03 Oct 19
When I was having serious mental health problems, it was very difficult for other people to help me. If you’re stuck in a daily routine of depression, every night you fall asleep and you don’t want to wake up, and when you do wake up, you’re disappointed. Sometimes people are caught in their own depression and that’s a very difficult trap to get out of.
I realised that in order for me to stand the chance of getting better, I had to make some changes. I tried to create space to redefine myself and also regain the skills of generating self-esteem, so I started to do some private tuition. Sitting with a student and teaching them how to write songs or to improvise, and watching them grow, was a very powerful thing for me. Because, in a blunt sense, people who are depressed are very self-centred to the point where looking at themselves becomes an illness.
So anything that you can do to draw your attention from yourself is almost like having a break from depression. It’s like you forget about yourself for a minute. Sometimes that’s enough.
Yoga is also good. Exercise is really important – being active, even just walking. If you feel like you’re carrying more weight, then concentrate on that, because it’s gonna be a lot more practical to get in better shape physically than it is to rework your mind. I think it works both ways. You can learn how to control your mind to gain control over your body.
When I was very ill with depression, I was basically living in a room and hardly ever leaving it. I was struggling to get out the door or to get the motivation to go and wash myself. But when I was in hospital, I met a patient who said something that I’ll never forget. He said, “Don’t do the things that your body is telling you that it wants to do.” When you’re depressed, do the things that deep down you’re terrified to do. You need to reclaim your world step by step and find your way back into it. It’s a difficult task but what else are you going to do?
Now We're Talking 2019
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Let’s break the stigma and take the dialogue about mental health issues onto a new level
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