This week has been National Depression Awareness week in the UK and my thoughts and opinions about all things depression have been much in demand. I was interviewed by Sky news for a piece on antidepressants, the Sunday Telegraph about the dangers and risks of taking antidepressants and Thomson Reuters about my experiences of depression generally. In addition I have contributed the odd comment or two at work and on Facebook so it has been a busy week. I am looking forward to the 3-day weekend to recuperate a little.
Out of all the things I have discussed this week however, one person has struck a chord with me. When asked the question, “What defines good mental health?” her response was that for her, good mental health is determined by consistency. Consistency of mood and emotions so that she is able to plan events and outings knowing that she is well enough to follow through on those plans instead of having to change or cancel them at the last minute when not feeling so good. Going to bed as one person and waking up as another is also problematic and can lead people with these symptoms to stop planning altogether so they don’t let friends or family down.
I understand this but quite often forget that it is a symptom of my ilness. It’s hard to keep letting people down when they are so patient and understanding and the overwhelming feeling of guilt makes you feel even worse. I have always said that I don’t have many friends as if I can’t guarantee being able to be a good friend to them then I can’t expect the reverse to be true. It’s not fair. It’s not equitable.
But actually, that’s what friends are for. They do understand and they are forgiving. Real friends are the salt of the earth and you should cherish them as and when you can.
But being inconsistent, whilst it is incredibly frustrating, can also be veiwed as a positive attribute! If you are a constant surprise to yourself as well as others, you can never be called boring! Unpredictable maybe, off-the-wall and kooky perhaps.
But never, ever, boring!