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.


Life After…

A few days ago, through World Suicide Prevention Day, we honoured lives lost and lost souls on the brink. We heard from many voices discussing the need to speak out, to reach out and to be aware. We heard touching stories of lives lost and lives saved. Like you, I was moved by the stories … 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.


Painting is Meditative

 This past June, I picked up a paintbrush, dipped it into acrylic paint and applied it to a canvas for the first time since ninth grade. That’s some thirty-eight years ago. With that act, I began a hobby that I’ve come to enjoy tremendously. Which is surprising, because if anyone had asked, I would’ve told them … 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.


World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10, 2016 is World Suicide Prevention Day. The numbers are appalling. In Canada, we have 4,000 deaths by suicide each year. But more shocking is the number of suicide attempts – 100,000 of them annually. The vast majority of those attempting suicide are female –  women are ten times more likely than men 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 Cultivating Resiliency

“Much of our time is spent battling our MH demons, recovering from the damage our illnesses inflict on us. However, recovery can mean much more than that. Recovery can give us an opportunity to learn new skills, and through this learning, acquire resiliency, ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties’. This leads to improved self-esteem … 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 Isolation and Seclusion

I am an introvert. When stimuli become overwhelming, I retreat to a quiet place and ground myself. I am a depressive. When my episode is in the midst of a downward spiral, I retreat to a quiet place and lose myself. This is the world of my mind. When faced with both positive and negative … 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 Colouring

I’ve become a big fan of adult colouring books. I now have several which I rotate through depending on my mood. But this wasn’t always the case. In fact, it wasn’t until I spent a half-hour colouring one day in group therapy that I rediscovered the joy of colouring. To see a room of adults … 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.