Category Archives: Guest Writers !

In God We Crutch (Depression symptoms)

In life when we break a leg we need crutches to get us back on our feet. We need something to rely on to get us around. In life too we need crutches sometimes. Religion is the primary crutch that dominates the mindset of possibly billions across the globe. ‘You need to believe in something,’ we are told from birth. To have a faith in something more powerful than ourselves, that is even one of the rules for acceptance into Alcoholics Anonymous. But what if you have no crutch, what if you cannot convince yourself to have faith in religion or a higher power like aliens, or even mother nature?

Where can a person who has no faith, who in fact believes in nothing, find solace when the chips are down? We can focus on giving our body a good feeling, we can smother chips in taco sauce, we can devour a chocolate log and use that as a crutch when times are hard (Its official chocolate does in fact lift mood) We might have a friend who is our rock and guide to talk things through with, we might have an object that means something which in a way we get power from. Magical relics of our past aside, the most worthwhile crutch we can develop is the ability to be self sustaining. Building an ability in ourselves, so that come what may, we have the confidence to know that we can get over it.

When depression symptoms hit hard, religion can leave the feelings of guilt even more dominating than they would be without the crutch of religion. The Catholic Church has dominated for centuries by manipulating this sense of guilt in us for their own devices. When faith has been lost in the man made institutions like the church however, is there something more spiritual that we can use as our guide?

I know someone who believes he has ‘the force’ (Of Star Wars fame) I know Raelians (Believers that aliens put us here and they are coming back) I have been offered by a Muslim prince from Africa that there were two wives from Morocco in it for me (Don’t know if I could handle even one) if I became their voice in my country. Faith for these people is different I would imagine, than that which you would bestow yourself onto if needs be, if you really had to go out there and find something divine to submit to.

There is the word ‘submit’ when suffering from depression symptoms, everything about the mental illness, every element of its desire to control you, requires that you submit to its influence. Blocking it, and not giving into the feelings of despair is an invaluable ability if you can master it. The inner strength which can be your crutch is not just in words, it is in experience. Moreover it is in using the experiences that you go through in your life, using them to help you adapt and change into a stronger human being that’s a means to keep out ‘The Devil.’

“Shut the door, keep out the Devil, shut the door keep the Devil outside.” These are the lyrics of a young poet I am a friend of. This guy actually believed in witches (apparently they are in the bible) and became some form of priest or pastor or whatever the ceremonial title was. He found his strength in a book, and he wrote volumes of poetry that pertained to Christ and all that jazz. (It seems that I do know quite a lot of strange religious types doesn’t it.)

He later got in some trouble, and did a disappearing act, and I miss him. But the point is even with some mumbo jumbo belief system we can still fail the test of standing up to the powers that would see our ruin. The only strength and crutch that is really worthwhile is in yourself. Life is long and each day comes with new lessons, and unique experiences. To take these experiences, the good and the bad, and to lock them in our minds, times we succeeded, times we failed and got right back up again, to use our triumphs in order to help us triumph one more time in winning over depression symptoms.

Do Our Feelings Require Censorship? (The depression)

Do you know that really catchy song, ‘suicidal?’ It gets under your skin, and denotes how a man feels when the girl ends a relationship with him. There was a league of old fogies harping on that the song should have been banned from the airwaves, and in some countries the word itself was dubbed out. I hate that, I hate censorship when it is not due, when it is over the top, protecting us when we need no such protection.

When that chap wrote the song and learned how to sing that word with an air that made the term warmer somehow, he didn’t intend any malice. I think it was the warmth that he could bring out of that terrible cold and harsh lyric that got on the nerves of the old fogies censorship brigade. I’m certain that there was a tragic loss in there behind the move to have the song banned, I’m sure there must have been, we only ever act on things when there is a self interest somewhere along the line.

So too as a writer, and as a journalist I worry about the impact of the words I create. Of course all us writers hope that our words will somehow have an impact, but it is with a desire to do more good than harm in this life, that is our motivation in its living. I know myself that what I read has an impact on me. There are a few books I could point to. (I have only actually read a few books) I believe it is safe to assume that I am not too different from others, and therefore maybe my words have an impact too. Even in this blog I worry that what I am saying may be taken up in a way that it was not intended, but the underlying motivation here is to give sufferers from the depression malaise, a voice in my words, and words that perhaps they can look to for inspiration in their own struggle.

I have spoken of the difficulty a journalist has in approaching the subject matter of reporting suicide. The county expert working for the nation’s health authority told me once that, ‘depression needs to be front page news.’ It can be, but the way the media works is that it is always sensationalised and hyped up when it does make the early pages. You know as well as I do that depression and suicide needs no such sensationalism attached. The depression, the untold damage done by it, needs to be put out there, it needs to be on peoples lips, and spoken of to the point where people no longer need to feel that they should hide what they are feeling.

The song being dubbed over was a bridge too far for me on this, certainly what should be a despicable word was tossed around in amongst a beautiful melody in a beautiful way, but the individual writer was speaking from the heart in the song’s production, he was getting at something, he was pointing his finger that yes indeed being dumped is a cause of depression very often, that it should be known, that we should look out for our friends who get the boot from a relationship where they were in love. There is no love lost between the censors and I. A radio show I created entitled ‘Radio Erotica’ garnered the highest number of calls of complaint the radio station had ever received. I think it was a record in the country that month which based on the radio stations listener-ship was quite an ‘achievement,’ (Not certain whether I should categorise it as an achievement) but with this no loved lost attitude I bring the argument, that people do not need our protection from information.

In information we find our strength, and with knowledge on the subject matter of depression and suicide, comes the power to deal with what needs to be dealt with. It gives us the know-how to do what needs to be done, when we or those around us are suffering.

Who in Hell Said, Better to Have Tried ‘n’ Failed? (Major depression)

‘Gone fishing, you aren’t working anymore,’ so goes the melody, the soundtrack to a good old fishing holiday. I believe it is the soundtrack too, for advertisements selling fish in breadcrumbs. The term ‘gone fishing’ doesn’t directly relate to this in one instance of note. Have you ever known someone who tried and failed to set up a new business? Who said, ‘better to have tried and failed than not have tried,’ eh?

Some cultures look with enamor on the bankrupted individual, some will look and laugh delighted that the individual has failed to rise above their station in life. Failed to out do the person laughing and content with their lot of the nine to five, or not so content, but too afraid to take the risk themselves. Nine out of ten new businesses will fail, that is a lot of individuals who have put their heart and soul into something, and come out the other side where it would have been better for them not to have tried in the first place.

The term ‘gone fishing’ is used to describe the next actions of this individual who has lost at their roll of the dice. The person can’t be blamed for trying, we all apparently love a tryer, but the failure eats away at their insides, and it requires a very strong character type not to ‘go fishing.’ Often the individual slips into a major depression, it is hard to see everything that you have struggled, and worked hard for come crashing down around you, and even more difficult to just dust yourself off. Give yourself a good wiping down, and somehow pick up the pieces to rebuild your own life, or venture out immediately to try again. Those who can just do that are special individuals, and eventual success in this domain will come for them, but what of now?

The man or woman turns off their phone, becomes out of reach, and out of contact not only to those to whom they are indebted, (as is the intended purpose of the ‘retreat’) but the individuals they love and who love them also will be excommunicated. These failed business people are sore, their emotions are raw, and in particular if they approached the startup business venture with passion, that passion of theirs has been killed off through unbridled disappointment.

It is a sad and sorry state of affairs, and the individual is sad, sorry, lonely, depressed, fatigued. They have stopped enjoying life, they have feelings of inadequacy, they won’t be able to speak the way they once did so embarrassed as they are by their failure. They are a mere shadow of the person they were in the opening phase of their startup. On the depression scale to determine the level of ones depression, in particular if the ‘Gone Fishing’ phase cannot be snapped out of in under two weeks, these people are technically suffering from major depression.

They need to realise this in themselves. It is hard to bounce back, but having gone about starting a business, they obviously have some form of inner strength on which they can depend. Inner strength which can be used to bring back an inner sense of calm, to come to terms with their loss, and bring back the inner peace that has been lost.

It gets on my wick sometimes how the focus in the western world is on bringing about an enterprising spirit in people. Heroes are thrown in our face, and we are given idols to look up to, we are told, ‘you can do it.’ There are gurus aplenty earning their keep going around telling people how to do it, giving them the impressions that it is all a hell of a lot easier to succeed than it actually is. There are no lessons however, in how to deal with the ramifications when it does not work out (Very likely given the statistics.) There is no one warning those who they motivate to get out there, and give it a try that major depression can be a consequence of failure. Why is this?

No Good Reason To Leave Us (Depression help)

We all have had friends who lost the will to live. Hopefully they made it through, and found their reasons as to why life is indeed worth living. If not, it is a sad and sorry lot, I’ve known of people once close to me, who may have done it, but I stopped the messenger mid flow, not wanting  to hear the actual words lest they eat me up inside and cast me back down that road myself.

We have all read about the suicide triangle, in particular in young people in a locality. What can happen is that one person does the unthinkable, and then for whatever reasons a spate of suicides from those who knew them begins. It is a trigger, and the reasoning behind the why? Why the others have chosen this time, brings more and more young people to doubt, more youths doubting the worthwhile nature of living life.

If only it had been known that they were experiencing these thoughts, there was always depression help out there, either amongst their friends or at the end of the phone. It is much less likely that you telling someone you are having troubles will affect them badly, much less likely that is than were you to go down this stupid and my parents say ‘selfish’ route. The hurt that the first individual commits on his or her locality is total, with the suicide triangle that hurt goes further, far further than even they could imagine based on the sheer hurt that they experienced in their hearts, leading them to act in this manner. The hurt and harm grows exponentially for a while, but it does stop, thank heavens it eventually stops. The harm moves on to another town, another village, more tears more hurt, all because depression help was never sought.

The reasoning behind other people acting in this copycat manner belies me a little. I think it may have something to do with what limits us from acting on our own suicidal thoughts in the first place. There is a fear, and a reluctance to go through with it out of these fears. But that is no way to live your life, living it on a tender-hook where the only reason you don’t put an end to it all is because you are too afraid to end it. When these young people destined to become just a point in the triangle or rectangle or pentagon or on and on, these people see the other individual ‘achieved’ what they were afraid to do, and it gives them the ‘guts’ they need, to get on with the business of dying.

The people who lose their lives in this way are honest to goodness good people, usually a little more sensitive than the norm, but that only makes for a nicer individual less prone to desiring the hurt and the suffering of others. But what do they do when they commit the act? What they do creates hurt levels untold, far reaching hurt and pain well beyond the limitations of the mind of the individual who needed depression help in the first place.

But just as not having the guts to kill yourself, is no valid reason for living, nor is the pain and hurt that your dying would do onto others. You need to look deep, or maybe you just need to open your God damned eyes to what is worth living for. What can be put into, and experienced in a day? Imagine the joy of all the days of the rest of your life, imagine owning them and having the freedom to fill them in whatever way you wanted.

No need to imagine, that is the reality that is the potential of living. and the reason for it.

You Snooze You Lose (Depression)

Awake at dawn toying with the idea of getting up.. awake at eight, and needing to be somewhere in an hour, snooze button.. fifteen minutes later, and the mind and the body are in agreement. Snooze button, calculating the timings, how long more can you push it?

It is so easy to press the self destruct button on everything we have achieved once depression is in control. What is important, still feels important, and there is still the guilt there, still ever present when you aren’t doing the things that you should be doing. They underlie, and just make the torment worse. I guess we are never really out of control of our actions, we see in the courts that temporary insanity sometimes gets people off when they have done something wrong, that they temporarily lost their ability to decide what was right.

Its 8.45 there you are still lying away enwrapped in the cocoon of stale sheets that you didn’t seem to have the energy to clean when the thought occurred to you last week. They are covered in sweat, and stinking of the product of a human being with too much time on their hands, and no outlet for their desire’s fulfillment. It is make or break time, but you have taken too much of a break, and the more restless you are to do something, the thing you need to do, the place you need to go to, the less likely you will be able to do it. It sounds like laziness really, all the symptoms are the same on being scrutinised by the outsider looking in.

The dirty sheets, the several dozen snooze buttons until it is four fifteen in the afternoon, and the cell phone where your alarm is located has rang time and time again, first from a number you recognise, then a different one, and you decide to leave it unanswered, you know that your boss is trying to ring you from a different line, trying to trick you. Your punishment will be swift, there is little way you can talk your way out of this one, if you had the courage left to persuade anyway.

The good old state can hopefully help you keep a roof over your head. That is if you can make your way to the social security department, that is if you have the energy to endure the queuing. That is if you can look the decision maker in the eyes, and explain your case. “Why did you lose your job?” ah why indeed. How can you explain it to someone who has seen laziness before? But you are not lazy, you have never been lazy. The determination of a good person we hear on the radio after an interesting death of an individual is that, they were a ‘hard worker?’

We hope that some day if it is us who dies in tragic circumstances and the reporter comes into our neighbourhood microphone in hand looking for anyone local who knew us. We hope they would say that of us. But what of the now, what would they say now? You are giving evidence that is not the case, you are letting people down, and as you self destruct you blow up your past, your track record now means nothing as you give in to depression and lye there, half sleeping, half dreaming, but waking every so often to the horrible feeling, giving you the shudders that this is a bad day, this is the day you gave up on the things you have worked hard for.

Mind That Child (Depression in children)

It is a sad reflection on society when a child cannot experience the joys that childhood should bring. There are limited pressures on a child, for them school is work. That’s in our western society thankfully; it is not the case in poorer parts of the world where they are required to chip in to the family pot with hard labour.

This ‘work’ of school is in an environment that is supposedly designed for their social development, but here in school there are unfortunately a host of pressures, and there are a host of peers that can incite depression in children. The pressures are not down to the children alone, many parents have unrealistic expectations from their kids, they may pit their children against each other, it may not be intentional, but many parents fail to see the reasons why they should not compare one of their children to the other, why they should not use the other child as marker by which to measure them.

Unfounded expectations, be they on the sports field, or in academia will pressurise the child making them feel that their very best is not good enough. When their best is not good enough, where does that leave them? Resigned and doomed to failure, with all of the negativity that goes with that. I’ve seen young parents in particular do this, and I’ve seen the look on the face of the child who was happy that he had done his very best and got a result which matched this effort, but it wasn’t good enough for the parents, they expected him to perform to the standards of his younger brother.

In the school environment also, you are leaving your children in the care of teachers who perhaps should not be teachers at all. You are entrusting your children’s education to individuals you do not know, you are entrusting the minds of your children to their approach to learning and child development. We should never forget that all adults are just grown up children, with this comes the chance that these men and women teaching our children can be immature in themselves. They can be without the people skills and the social intelligence to deal with our kids the way they deserve to be treated.

If your child gets out of hand, whilst the days of corporal punishment are thankfully long gone, words can be just as punishing and just as hurtful. I have seen children fail, and the language used by the teacher on the little tyke was demeaning in front of their peers, and bullying in many ways. Depression in children can be onset too from this kind of bullying, just as much as it can be from bullying in the playground. The classroom or the playground, what is the difference really? The child has no safe place to hide, this place where they are encountering bullying, be it from the individual who is being paid to educate them, or from the young individuals who are there to be educated alongside them, the child has no choice, but to be in this place.

Their lives are entirely dictated to them, and dropping them off into school each day may be dropping them off to a place where they feel trapped and powerless, each day you may be dropping them off to their own young personal hell. Depression in young people in the United States is by and large treated with anti-depressant drugs, but this numbing of the senses by fooling them in upping the serotonin levels, is a false fix for the child. When you are an adult depression sufferer unlike when there is depression in children, at least you have a certain amount of control on your environment. You can remove from your own life those things which bring you to your depressed state. A child has no power over these factors, I am not advocating that a child should be free to make their own decisions as they would be consistently the wrong decisions, and in essence the parent does know best, I am however advocating that a parent needs to listen to their child, to speak with them, keeping a watchful eye on their mood and be willing to admit that certain changes are not just down to growing pains.

If there is a problem, then it is the duty of the parent to uncover the problem and do everything in their power to resolve it. Your child is depending on you to help them, as they have no power or control over their lives to help themselves.

Be Afraid of Fear (Depression statistics)

In overcoming our fears we find just how brave we can be. With depression in mind it can bring about fears in us that never existed before. It can lead to the onset of new phobias, and our day to day lives can be made a living hell if we allow these phobias to get the better of us. Facing our fears and doing it anyway, getting over the conditioned response that we find ourselves performing when the hurdles need to be jumped, that is the hardest part.

The most commonplace phobia that arises is a social phobia, maybe we were never the most comfortable person in social situations before the depression set in, but in the now, the anxiety social scenarios brings for us can overwhelm our senses to ridiculous heights. It may please you to become aware, that even the best of us, even the individuals who appear to be in their element in these social confrontations experience doubt. We all have problems dealing with the social, be it getting tongue tied, being it getting self conscious, it is not comfortable for anyone really.

Looking at children as they play however, we see how some are just better at it than others. Some kids want to play alone, and that can be a precursor to how they will run their lives when they get older, some will only be content when they are with others which brings problems in itself in later life. Getting along with people, being brought along into situations which are outside our comfort zone, having to speak with total strangers can be unnerving for the best of us, but obviously more so when there is a social phobia suffered. It is food for thought and indeed a place where I find solace in the knowing that others are in the same boat. It shouldn’t help when you think about it, but it does help so use it. Phobias defy logic anyway, so why wouldn’t your solution to the issue defy logic?

Being afraid is no reason to quit, and being strong does not guarantee success, nothing in life is a guaranteed. Nothing is, but that is the beauty of trying. Life and its living is not scientific, and what works once may not work a second time. Here you and I find a positive frame of reference for our attempts to defy our limiting phobias. It is true also that just because you have tried in the past and failed, that does not mean that when you try the next time you will also fail. I have a friend and wow is that guy not suffering from any social phobia, he is of a positivity that would see me believe that he will never become one of the depression statistics. I’ve seen him try and try again with girls to no avail whatsoever. His appearance is almost comical, his speech too, he is the furthest thing from an alpha male that you could imagine, but his secret is in not letting the rejection get to him.

He is a disaster of unbelievable proportions but he is a tryer, and whilst God loves them I never knew that women love them too. Lately he has struck it lucky maybe with five different women in a row, after hundreds upon hundreds of rejections, his success defies logic. Depression statistics too defy logic. There is no reason why so many people fall into the trap of feeling so low when there is so much chance for good out there. It doesn’t just happen for the mega rich, the best life has to offer is in the little things, the free things, the social pursuits and the real beauty of connecting with people.

Granted that is an area where you, like I experience difficulties, but knowing of the importance of practicing it out, and just getting over our limitations in this domain we can get the full value out of them. It is in the knowing of what lies ahead, and the potential for more that will drive us over the edge of our phobia and into a zone where we can be comfortable.

The Peerage (Depression support)

An old girlfriend said to me once, ‘Your friends are an image of yourself, they tell a great deal about you, they reflect who you are.’ Now I never got the best of grades, I never excelled in this domain, but my friends sure did, geniuses the lot of them. She herself was a standard genius too, first class honours degree, and masters as well I believe, but we stopped being an item long before that masters was attained.

The mark of a true friend is if they stand and stick by you when the chips are down so to speak, if they are there when you need them most. They may always have been there in the past dishing out good advice, and had you taken it you wouldn’t now be in the dilemma you are in. You are experiencing depression, but the depression support you need is not a ‘Catch 22’ situation. Seeking depression support from those very friends who have reflected who you are down the years, it won’t be to the detriment of your relationship.

Certainly and I’m not going to lie to you, when something like this happens, when we change as a person going from a positive one to being caught in the quagmire of the down in the dumps disease, how our friends look on us in the short term, that will change. But true friends, the only really important ones to hold onto over time, years from now what you are experiencing now, and the information you entrust to them, all of that will be forgotten, all will be normal once again.

It is important in life to have relationships with our peers, you may be the kind of girl who only likes to date older men, you may be a guy who for some reason feels an affinity with older people, and they are who you hang out with. But it is in people your own age, who have a relatively similar outlook to the surroundings in which we live, who have many of the answers when you go out to seek these answers from them.

An elderly gent will find a good ear in another elderly gent and so on, it is about someone being able to relate to you, and more importantly not to relate to the way that you are feeling. You, when availing of your depression support need someone to be able to tell you the flaws in your thinking. The reason the supporter should be in your peer group is pretty basic, it is amongst your peers that you will find an opinion you respect and an opinion you can trust to be of relevance.

In peers you will find people who have gone through the very same things as you, but have come through without suffering from depression as a consequence. You will also (With 10% of people suffering you wont have to look very hard) find others in your peer group who have gone through your very situation before, who have fallen into a depressed state but managed to come out the other side. Many if not most of us out there will have come tantalizingly close to falling down into depression at some point, but we have found the words, maybe the affirmations in mantras to lift us right back up again.

Your peers are your rock and a port in the storm, they are the difference between despair and its lifting. You may not right now even be able to think of anyone. That is the problem with depression, we assume that we no longer have friends, but you can be certain that you are not looking hard enough. There are many people who consider you to be their friend even though you may not believe this to be the case, think harder and trust me when I tell you that there are people around you who will be there to lend the support you need now.

Numbers Up (Depression therapy)

The wheels are spinning, the cards are being flipped, the bells ring all around as jackpots are hit, the machines soon to swallow right back up what has been won. All around, the observer can note a range of demeanors in the people that populate the casino this night.

There are a few women in nice dresses with men in suits, probably making the visit as part of some work function. There are others though and the looks on their faces are not so wide eyed with the novelty of the experience. In fact the experience is no novelty. They have seen the flip to 10’s of 1000’s of cards, they have seen the roulette ivory ball spill into its number segment countless times. Their number strikes and the look on their faces do not show the satisfaction that winning at odds of 35-1 should bring. There should be pure elation evident, but the wheels have been in motion for so long that even this big win does not leave them even remotely close to the point of their beginning.

Even if the ball was to land on their number ten times in a row, there would be no elation, they have lost it all, gone back again to try to win it all back when the next wage packet came, and then they went and lost all of that again too. These are familiar scenes in the gambler flooded casinos of the world every day and night of the week, the air conditioned, the lights bright, no clocks present so the gambler can tell how long they have wasted in this half life environment.

Their losses have saddened them, their losses are more than purely financial, their relationships struggle, as finances are unfortunately part of the gel that keeps people together. There is a physical fatigue, there is a lack of value being derived from the little wins that they do manage to achieve, they no longer experience the satisfaction that they once did from something they once actually enjoyed. In essence the pattern of gambling in their lives has led them down a path, an addiction sneaked up on them, and with that addiction they have contracted an addiction to pain, they have assaulted their minds with depression.

The clear cut depression therapy you would imagine in these instances would be just to quit, but it obviously isn’t that easy. There is a comfort of sorts for the mind with the anxiety that occurs when that little ball spins, or looking into the eyes of your opponent on the poker table, trying to read their minds, and read their cards to determine if you have the better of them. What little element of skill or luck or chance or whatever powers that be that make these people believe night after night that the situation can improve? They will hold onto these and use them as their tools to keep them going.  Depression therapy for gamblers, possibly begins in the halls of an Alcoholics Anonymous type organisation called Gamblers Anonymous, but just like with depression and alcoholism that admission that there is a problem in the first place, needs to be gotten over.

With that admission comes the opportunity for help to be found, and the opportunity for a resolution to the problem. I have looked into the faces of these men and I have noticed from the statistics that there is a correlation between the increase in single vehicle road death statistics over the same period that these ‘members clubs’ first began to rear their heads. I have seen the men dejectedly leaving the casino with empty pockets and empty souls, having to go back to their wives and somehow explain why there no money for food, and that the woman will have to beg steal or borrow from her family or another place, just to keep their family going until the next paycheck, which in itself is already owed to a credit institution.

I have witnessed these men leave and seen how depressed they were, I often wondered what was to stop them en-route home just swerving that car into a tree, and ending their misery, when therapy for depression could have lifted the veil of misery. The link has never been reported, it is too difficult a link for a journalist to prove, but I know it is there. I know what these places, these casinos these bookies, these one armed bandit playgrounds have done to people. I know, they know, but the wheels still turn and the cards are still flipped.

Animal Instinct (Therapy for depression)

I was ghostwriting a book for an Australian gent who lost the use his legs recently. It wasn’t just he who had been affected by the accident that day. His wife too had suffered major ramifications as a result. Whilst he had found other means top keep his mental health in a good place in the aftermath of the accident, like jumping out of airplanes, and getting up in front of 1000’s of people making motivational speeches using his experience and converting it into clear cut rules by which to live life, his wife had no such rules.

Since that day she saw him there by the roadside after falling from his motorbike she was hit by the trauma of it all. This trauma was only compounded by a breakdown of sorts in communication between the pair, and she was left in the throws of a trauma related anxiety and depression that she still has not overcome completely almost eight years on. She told me that whilst she is on medication for the mental ailment, the line of therapy she has gone down is a little different than the orthodox. Much like her husband who is the World’s only paraplegic skydiver Dale Elliott, she takes an unorthodox route to goal also.

Her therapy for depression is with animal kind, and I can see how it would work. I have seen too that animal therapy is coming into use more frequently in nursing homes, and places where death is imminent. The connection with the animal is easier to make perhaps than a connection with people. She told me how she does not know how she would have gotten through it all if it weren’t for ‘Molly,’ she told me how, and I related this to Dale’s readers in the book “Can’t Walk Can Fly” in her own words. How she had difficulty in driving by herself in the wake of the accident, and family would help out by driving her every which way. When their services were no longer available though, and it was back to herself alone she would bring their now ten-year-old pooch Molly with her in the car. “I couldn’t very well crash the car with the dog in it” she said.

She said that and I believed her, that this dog being there was enough to stop her losing her concentration (a symptom of depression) and driving off the road, stopped her easily putting her suicidal thoughts into action by careering purposefully off the road. In many ways having ‘Molly’ as her ‘rock’ alongside her, those eyes looking up and in need of the hand that feeds her, that mutual need was a therapy for depression for this man’s wife.

Just now I have been down the fields in the rural place where I live. I came upon three horses that reside in this field belonging to the workers on my family farm. This was the first time that I have ever seen them, but when I climbed over the gate one in particular raced over to me at a gallop, his white hair soon brushing up against me and clinging to my pullover. He seemed to be trying to eat my shoes as he nipped and rubbed his head against my body. He took my pushing my hand against his head, rubbing his crown as the friendly gesture that it was intended to be, and bathed in the attention of the human being.

I felt better, he felt better, I wasn’t feeling bad prior to his racing over, but I did notice a lift in my mood when I made the connection with him. It may not always be possible to find a human being eager to let us rub them, there is something about requiring therapy for depression that leaves us less capable of handling the complex rigmarole of dating or keeping a relationship with a member of the opposite sex steady. With animals however, they draw quarter for you in your mental decline from your best. It is as though they somehow can feel that there is an issue, and in their own way (although as a meat eater I sometimes don’t like to put a face and a personality to my food) they want to help you.

The animal connection is a valuable bond in getting over depression, its use is set to increase, and like the wife of my paraplegic superman you too or the loved one in your midst who is suffering from depression, may benefit from animal therapy. It is a basic form, and a little unorthodox easy to forget about when there are so many other therapies on offer, but so too it is easy to imagine how bringing an animal into the life of a depression sufferer could be of benefit to that person.

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