Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cause for optimism

The inspiration for today's title lies in one of the best insights I can give into managing depression and/or anxiety. The insight is that there are many facets to successfully managing either of these conditions, and that only one facet needs to be going wrong for life to get difficult.

Why on earth is this fact cause for optimism, I hear you ask? The answer is that a person experiencing mental trouble can take comfort in the knowledge that while times may be tough and all sorts of things seem to be going wrong, it is more than likely that he or she is in a position to attend to one of these aspects in a small way (in keeping with the reality of what might well be miniscule energy levels and motivation). And the extra good news is that sometimes the tiniest positive actions can make a world of difference.

I can't tell you how many times the seemingly small and insignificant things have actually been positive turning points for me. This is because in long-term mental health management all the pieces matter. This is a critically important point to be aware of because it empowers the person who feels that they have no power to deal with the "big" problems in his or her life.

Start small. It may just be the start of something big.

On a related note, the video I have embedded below is a scene from one of my favourite episodes of The West Wing. It is a conversation between two leading characters of the show: Leo and Josh. Josh has just been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and Leo - who has himself had mental issues in his past - has something to share.