On Sunday I took a trip to Whitstable to listen to a discussion by Mark Rice-Oxley about his depression and how it took hold of him, with he thought no warning. It is only with hind-site when we look back that we realise, yes, there were some warning signs but I just did not realise that they were or indeed why they were happening or what they meant. It is a very singular thing  depression, no one feels the same or has the same type of symptoms, by that I mean some may have panic attacks but what sets them of is an individual thing.

There are things you can look out for such as your appetite, whether it be more or less for everything like food, sweets, sex, living, going out, sleeping, drinking there are more. Has it changed? Why?

Winston Churchill once said: If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Your childhood years from 5 to 10 tend to dictate how you will feel later in life, I am not sure I agree with that as that part of my life was the best or I thought it was, maybe it really wasnt!

This discussion I found very interesting with everyone agreeing on certain points for example, many Doctors only have a basic knowledge of Mental Health and with the cuts to the National Health Service you could wait over a year to see a psychiatrist.  So you are not getting the best care just what ever care is available at that time.  Young adults have to live and experience things that is called growing up and learning, even learning from our mistakes. Why has this turned into, you have depression, lets put you on antidepressants. I feel they are handed out too quickly by doctors not really knowing what else to do.

There are many ways people can help themselves by going outside, walking, sitting in the garden, being with friends and family, trying mindfulness, CBT  but it is not easy, what ever you try, again everybody is different so if they have other underlying problems then of course it is a harder fix or learning to live with it. Many will stay on their dose of tablets for the rest of their life and that’s ok if it keeps them in a safe place.

Try to remember that as your thoughts come, then let them go!  Don’t hold onto things, easier said than done I think.

Mark Rice-Oxley has written a book about his depression and recovery which is well worth a read.



Mark Rice-Oxley is a news editor at the Guardian specialising in foreign news. He was born in Hampshire in 1969, educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, Exeter University and Voronezh University in the USSR. He joined the Guardian after 10 years reporting and writing from Moscow, Paris and Eastern Europe. His journalism has been published in scores of titles worldwide. He lives in Kingston with his wife and three children.

On paper, things looked good for Mark Rice-Oxley: wife, children, fulfilling job. But then, at his 40th birthday party, his whole world crumbled as he succumbed to depression…

How many men do you know who have been through periods when their lives haven’t seemed right? How badly askew were things for them? Many men suffer from depression yet it is still a subject that is taboo. Men often don’t visit the doctor, or they don’t want to face up to feelings of weakness and vulnerability. By telling his story, Mark Rice-Oxley hopes it will enable others to tell theirs. In this intensely moving memoir he retraces the months of his utmost despair, revisiting a landscape from which at times he felt he would never escape.

Written with lyricism and poignancy, Mark captures the visceral nature of this most debilitating of illnesses with a frightening clarity, while at the same time offering a sympathetic and dispassionate view of what is happening, and perhaps why. This is not a self-help book but a memoir that is brimful of experience, understanding and hope for all those who read it. It is above all honest, touching and surprisingly optimistic.

A very enlightening day spent learning and listening in the lovely seaside town of Whitstable.




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