How I Describe Depression - Andy Dunn / by Richard Bentley

Andy is a ThinkWell Workshop Leader as well as being  freelance learning and development professional in the youth sector and corporate companies. He's an active writer on creativity, leadership an mental health; a great advocate for emotional wellbeing. 

Since I recovered from depression I’ve spoken about it more and more. Every time I meet someone who is struggling with depression or is close to somebody that is, I’m happy to share my personal experience.

Last week I explained it like this..

“Imagine a room. On the wall there are beautiful pieces of artwork that you chose yourself, you love the colours and you love the way they are framed. There is lots of light coming into the room and you can see them really well.

When you are depressed, it’s like the room is pitch black. You are sitting in complete darkness trying to look for paintings on the wall. The paintings that make you happy and give you hope. They used to remind you of how wonderful life is and of the possibilities ahead of you in the future.

But now the curtains are closed and no natural light can enter the room, the light is off and you are in complete darkness.

The beginning of depression is frustrating, because you know the pictures are on the wall, you just can’t see them. But the longer you sit in the dark, the more you question whether the pictures are actually on the wall or not. You can lose hope and feel helpless.

Someone else can walk in the room with special night vision glasses on and tell you the pictures are still on the wall. They could touch them with their hands and reassure you that the pictures are still there. People say to you, keep the faith, be hopeful – all the happiness that you used to feel is still there, you just can’t see it at the moment.

People can help you to illuminate the room, but they can’t tell you about the pictures on the wall. The pictures are yours. If they help you to create the light, they are doing a wonderful job.”

I hope this description is helpful. Depression can completely alter our outlook on life. As long as we remember that we can change our outlook, we can find the strength to look for the light.

If you know someone that is depressed or you are suffering yourself, please be compassionate with those around you, give as much love as you have and be as patient as possible.

You can also find Andy's blog on his own blog here:

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