Introducing Big White Wall

In 2014, after attempting suicide, I was released into the care of my parents. At that time, I didn’t have a formal diagnosis of my illness. I didn’t have a prescription for any medication. I didn’t have a family doctor. I had no appreciation for the delays involved in getting psychiatric or therapeutic help. It’s … 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 Feeling Stuck

This is a very different post from what I usually write. It’s rawer, I think. But it’s an issue that’s been troubling me for quite a while and, I think, might be troubling some of you. At some point, we are told to let go, to move on. But like all things involving mental illness, … 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.


Mental Health’s Other “S” Words

Spend time on social media reading posts on mental illness and mental health and you’ll soon come across many of mental health’s other “S” words: stigma and shame, silence, survival, sharing and support. Post after post will decry social stigma, railing against the injustices it creates in the availability of services, both in terms of … 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.


Just BEing

As I write this, I’m sitting in a well-lit room. The sun streams through a large bay window. There’s a stillness around me. Ambient sounds include the tumbling of the dryer in the hall, the hiss of tires on the pavement outside, and the clicking of my keyboard as I type. I choose to stop … 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 Apps I Use – Part 2

In my post, The Apps I Use, I shared with you the apps I’ve installed on my Android smartphone to support my mental health. That post was a list of the apps with links to them in the Play Store. In this post, I’d like to tell you why I chose some of those apps. In … 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.


Writing

In my last post, I talked about colouring. I explored how I came to rediscover it and the effects it has had on my mental health. In this post, I’ll discuss another tool that has propelled my recovery – writing. Writing is a significant part of my life. But this hasn’t always been true. There … 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.


Colouring

Over the past three years, I’ve amassed an array of tools to help me maintain my mental health. I have books, audiobooks, meditations, photographs, crisis plans, wellness toolkits and more. My tools are both passive – watching tv or listening to music, and active – meditating and painting. Of late, though, the activity I’ve most … 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 Apps I Use

My Crisis Plan defines specific steps I follow to deal with crisis. They range from the very basic, trying to calm myself, to the very difficult, reaching out for help. But the point is they establish a step by step response to crisis that, I’ve learned over time, works for me. My Plan directs me … 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.


How I Coped with Delay

A necessary part of your mental health recovery will be your ability to cope with, to manage, delay. That’s true here in Ontario and likely throughout the rest of Canada. Delay is endemic throughout the health system. But it’s most acutely felt, I believe, in the mental health system, where resources are scarce and 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.


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.