Reflections Upon #MensMHDay 2017

While #MensMHDay 2017 has come and gone, I’d like to take this moment to reflect on what we accomplished in 2017 and plant the seeds for next year’s campaign. By way of background, Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day was founded by Jean-Francois Claude in 2014. Jean-Francois has lived experience with depression. Like many men, he … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


A National Disgrace

On Thursday I had a direct message conversation with an old online friend. Please allow me to relay the opening parts of my conversation: OF:  hey John. Long take since we chatted. I was wondering if you could help me. I’m trying to find the national suicide hotline number. JD:  sadly there is no such … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


Seeing

The French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote “The whole of life lies in the verb ‘seeing’.” Yet, many of us go through our lives without seeing. We flit from moment to moment, observing none of them, always anticipating the future or lost in the past. Certainly, as someone who suffers from depressive episodes, the … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Seizing Opportunity

I’ve had a great deal of good fortune in my journey from the brink of death until today. I admit this. However, some of that good fortune has arisen because I’ve seized an opportunity. One such opportunity has been the privilege of writing for Healthy Minds Canada over the past 15 months. I saw a … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


It Takes Work

I liken my support system to the three legs of a stool. So long as all three legs are in balance, the stool – my recovery – is stable. Previously, I shared with you the roles played by psychotropic medications and talk supports. In this post, I’ll discuss the third leg of the stool, the … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day

My initial plan was to complete my trilogy on mental health supports this week, but I’ve spent the last two weeks in support of a Canadian initiative that I’d like to bring to your attention: Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Consequently, the final part of that trilogy will follow shortly. Last year, I was tagged … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Talk Supports

I liken my recovery supports to the three legs of a stool. Each plays its role in providing a stable base from which my recovery can grow. Remove one leg, though, and the stable base for recovery is lost and recovery falters. In my previous post, I spoke on one of these legs, my use … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Psychotropics

I take three psychotropic medications. This is my choice, taken in full knowledge of the potential side effects (I read the information provided by my pharmacy and the information available on drugs.com). Your opinion may differ, and that’s okay. Your experience may differ, and that’s okay too. What I do know is that they work … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Celebrating Success

I truly believe that when it comes to your mental health, every success is important. They all matter. They matter because your illness denies their existence, hides them from you, all the while ramping up the effort to destroy your self esteem. They matter because your illness will take every seeming failure and magnify it … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


Early Recovery Successes

The month of September, 2014, found me in a very dark place. My world had been reduced to that of my mind, and my mind was ill. My thinking was extremely irrational. I was without hope. My world was stark, it was black and it was filled with pain. In an effort to end the … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Defeating Isolation

Major Depressive Disorder is experienced by each sufferer in a unique way. Yet, within this personal experience, there’s a commonality that allows us to share with each other knowing that we each “get it”. In my case, the melancholic mood was accompanied by guilt and shame that had me questioning my worthiness. I avoided friends … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


Change

I’m in the midst of a depressive episode. Self-assessments using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) have consistently scored 20 or more for each of the last seven weeks. According to the interpretation guide for PHQ-9, this equates to my having a severe depressive episode that requires monitoring, medication and psychotherapy. The good news is that my PHQ-9 … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Sleep Hygiene

In my recent posts, I’ve shared with you the dangers of obstructive sleep apnea and its role in my depressive episodes, and shared with you my thoughts on the importance of proper sleep. Today I will conclude this series by talking about sleep hygiene. The National Sleep Foundation tells us that sleep hygiene is the … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


The Importance of Proper Sleep

In my last post, I introduced you to OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) and suggested that this sleep disorder played a role in the effect that MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) had upon my body and mind. I also described the physical factors behind the disorder and outlined the resulting dangers. However, I didn’t explore the importance … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Some 25 years ago, my then girlfriend complained about my snoring. However, it wasn’t the volume (which she described as deafening) that caused her the most concern. It was the gasping for breath, the snorting, the appearance that I was choking that got her upset. Admittedly, I thought she was over-reacting but I went to … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Gratitude and Ideations

  Major Depressive Disorder eats away at your self-esteem. The illness seizes upon your every frailty, self-doubt and fear, amplifies it and then uses it against you. All the while you are left searching within yourself for the cause. When you fail to find one, you add this failure to the self-doubt and growing self-abuse, … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


On Sharing and Vulnerability

Writing for this blog has been a privilege. Every two weeks, I’ve been given the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with you as I work through my recovery. I admit that these thoughts and experiences haven’t been profound, but they’ve been honest and, in their honesty, they have strength. I’ve been able to … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


Back to the Basics

  Let me begin with a confession: I am struggling. I have been for some time. I find myself filled with self-doubt and immersed in a deep lethargy. I find myself experiencing some bleak and dark thoughts. I also find myself having difficulty with writing. The lethargy I spoke of is coupled with an intense lack … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


Two Simple Exercises

  Recently, one of my online friends and I were talking about the benefits I received from two simple exercises that I began on the advice of my counselors: keeping a list of successes and journaling. The list of successes came about because one counselor saw that I frequently overlooked the successes I had achieved … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.


My Self-Healing Library

When I was released from hospital on September 3, 2014 I had a vague sense of what was wrong with me – something called Depression – and the smallest flicker of hope. These two factors were enough, though, to spark my recovery. In a very real way, my meeting with the hospital’s counselor, G.G., the … Continued

About John Dickson

A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I've had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I'm a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.