I’ve wittered on about a number of subjects but not yet about books. Well let’s change that.

Over the years I’ve lived with depression. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts however after my partner died I did go to some dark places. I can fully understand the path those dark places can lead you down. Crucially for me there is our son – I have to be there for him over the next few years.

In the U.K. depression has been a bit of a taboo subject. You weren’t supposed to talk about it. You were expected to suffer in silence and just get on with it. Even suicide was reported as if it was some form of crime. A few years back I remember telling a friend that I was depressed, his response was “stop being a wimp and pull yourself together”. Thankfully things are starting to change. It’s now becoming socially ok to talk about depression.

Paul McGregor is one of the leading mental health campaigners in the U.K. He has now released a book based around his fight with depression and the impact his dads suicide had upon him. I found the book really thought provoking with many elements of the book striking a chord with me. Although it was an emotionally difficult read, I found the book completely inspirational.

27 thoughts on “Man up man down

  1. I think men suffer so much from the expectation they have to keep up a front and appear strong. I think it slowly is changing but we need to do more. The more men can be encouraged to open up and speak about it, the better. In Australia they did a television special on this last year…progress is being made.

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  2. I’m happy to hear the stigma is slowly deteriorating! It’s sad how some truths , such as depression and suicide, are so unacceptable. Such things, like race and religion, have been through this too. We’re all one human species… To love and be loved.
    It’s incredibly brave for you to speak up about your depression, and I hope that book helps you in boundless ways!

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  3. I am glad the stigma is being lifted and it is easier to talk about your feelings with others. I am also glad the book struck a chord with you. Having gone through a few depressive episodes myself, I may check your book out. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. One of my best friends in this world lives in the UK and has bipolar disease. His lows take him to a dark place that I cannot even imagine. Thank you for mentioning this book, for I have bought one of his Christmas presents and was looking for something else … I think this book is just the ticket! Thank you!

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    1. Especially if you are a long suffering Newcastle United supporter like this mug. Putting that daft comment aside, I’ve heard too many people say this for it not to be true – you have to experience lows to truly appreciate the highs. The crazy thing is that for years it was taboo to talk about depression. Never understood why.

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      1. I think we are talking about the difference between reactive and endogenous. And big boys don’t cry. After the shock of the death of my first wife I went straight back to work. Then it hit me hard. Like you, my son helped keep me going.

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