A Guest Blog by Mitch Wappner, who runs our in-house counselling service.
For anybody who hasn’t been depressed, it seems like it’s easy to break the cycle of depression. Do this, do that, exercise, talk to someone, blah blah.
The First Step ….
The first step isn’t conversation, especially with those who don’t know. The first step is finding someone to listen.
TimetoTalk Day was celebrated on the 3rd February 2022. This was one day where everyone was encouraged to start a conversation with somebody. This was to try to break down the stigma and raise awareness of mental health
As a person centered counsellor, I cannot impress upon others the importance of talking. Communicating with each other, in my opinion, is the fundamental basis of any relationship. It builds trust and respect and encourages warmth and understanding.
When I was struggling with anxiety and depression, I soon became aware of the enormous amount of advice available. Personally, I found this overwhelming and at times quite scary. All I actually wanted to do was talk to someone who would listen without interrupting with glib words of advice or judgement. I was lucky in that I had friends and family who were willing to let me talk, but eventually I felt as though I was burdening them with my thoughts you could see they were desperate to give me a solution; so I quietened my voice and internalised these thoughts.
My anxiety and depression deepened until I reached out and sought therapy from someone who understands. This was one of the hardest steps I have had to take and yet one of the most rewarding.
During my counselling journey (which is ongoing btw!), I experienced warmth, empathy and compassion. I felt respected and listened to. It was as though the counsellor was walking beside me on my journey, allowing me to make my own decisions whilst having them for support.
Bit by bit, I gained a deeper understanding of who I was, my confidence grew and my anxiety and depression symptoms lessened.
It was thanks to the counselling experience I had encountered that I decided to change the course of my journey, and train to become a counsellor myself.
For me at least, I have found that I don’t need someone to tell me what to do, I don’t need someone to carry me, I just need someone to listen and be there when I need them.
Try it. Take one step.