World Mental Health Day went great!
October 10 is promoted as a World Mental Health Day by the World Health Organization (WHO). Our intention this evening was to raise the awareness about mental health to be able to understand people dealing with to.
We were only a small but â€“as usual- very international group and this was very good because the atmosphere was very cozy and trustful.
We were trying to answer/discuss the following questions together:
What is mental health for YOU? And how do you care about YOUR mental health?
And this was a tricky question which was not that easy to answer. Try it! Just think about this for some seconds! Everybody understands something very different regarding mental health. What does it mean feeling mentally good? What does it mean feeling not good?
Then we discussed what we do know about depression? What are the symptoms?
Depression is one of the most spreaded mental disorders. According to WHO, depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated number of 350 million people of all ages affected. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. That is why we were talking about this disease.
There are following symptoms of depression:
Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Decreased energy, fatigue, being â€śslowedâ€ť
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
In order for depression to be diagnosed, the person must experience these symptoms every day, for at least 2 weeks.
What do you think about â€śfeeling mentally goodâ€ť having read the list of symptoms of depression?.. We were talking about that this could be difficult to pay attention to the symptoms (for example feeling sad) and probably because of this people do not understand and accept that they need help.
Next time you meet a person who you could think has always a bad mood just think about that probably a person needs a real help, support and your empathy. We never know which battle other people are dealing with. Sometimes and actually, not that rarely, because one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives caused by stress and other factors being in bad mood most of the time could mean that a person is dealing with serious illness.
We also were discussing what are the factors for depression.
Of course we are not professionals, we are not working in health care system etc. and could only share our opinions: difficult childhood, trauma, working stress, too high expectations, living not own life (I liked the question I found in internet regarding this: Have you ever thought about expression â€śthe costs of livingâ€ť?), being not really connected to ourselves. We have a very nice guest who could share his personal experience with us: depression is a very slowly process. It is not that you get it in one day, this is something â€śyou are working onâ€ť many years. But this is also a chance to wake up and to start to live own life, to understand what/who matter for YOU, accept YOURself and free yourself from the unnecessary and expectations and somebody else but not YOUR goals.
Also we were talking about treatments and discussing that recently practicing mindfulness is proved to help to avoid depression relapse. According to one interview with Professor Mark Williams (Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at Oxford and also the Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre until his retirement in 2013) the â€śdepressed ageâ€ť is getting younger: today doctors dealing with 13-15 yearâ€™s old teenagers. The whole life is before them and this life should be also enjoyed. Thatâ€™s why it so important to learn some tools to prevent ones mental health. May be for all of us.
Our guest shared with us that nothing helps and supports so much (neither medicine nor psychotherapy) as support and understanding from friends, colleagues and family.
At the end of our event he was so happy that he just hugged everybody form us :) I think for me it was the main result of the evening! Thank you for this!
Also we were talking about how to help a friend/family member who is suffering from depression. It is good to be informed what exactly depression is and accept the person the way she/he is, supporting her/hem on nit easy way if healing. Just walking together, cooking, and watching movies, helping to do everyday tasks, talking about depression, what it is, how the person feels. We were also talking about, why it is so important to talk about depression with children.
At the end everybody has written a wish to a person dealing with difficulties in own life. We puted these wishes in a small box and then everybody could pick up a wish as a memory about the evening. The wish I got was: â€śLetâ€™s cook together!â€ť
Of course we are not professionals but we were trying to think about mental health together, to understand it and have one idea how to support.
At the end of the evening I felt motivated, good and tired! A big thank to the group for such great feelings while talking about such a difficult topic so openly! Despite the fact the topic we were discussed was not that ease one we had great time and even staid together longer than funny Improvisations Theater running in a neighbor room. :)
One of wishes from our guests to others was: â€śWe go through it together!â€ť I wish you all health and people around you who are ready to go with you through the most challenging moments in your life! Whatever it is!