Monday, 9 April 2012

It's Good To Talk … About Depression

No letter this week so I thought I would take the opportunity to look at depression. Many people use the term depression quite freely but if you have ever had or been close to some one who is suffering from depression it really can be very debilitating and have a considerable impact when trying to maintain a sense of 'normality" and "stability" .

Depression can be brought on by a life changing episode, it could be a bereavement, an accident, the break down of a relationship, the diagnosis of an illness or an array of other life changing incidents. These can cause a trigger of initial sadness which is then followed by a much deeper sense of sadness, very low mood, lethargy often difficulty sleeping and either comfort or under eating can all be common symptoms. 

Many of us tend to look for a reason for depression so that we can understand why it has happened and what can be done to stop it. The GP is often the first port of call, some are more understanding then others, some are possibly a little quick to prescribe common anti-depressants others will take a more long term view and offer counselling  and other types of support.

Some times depression simply seems to appear from nowhere, clients often say that they have no idea why they feel the way they do and so have no idea how to make themselves feel better. It may seem at first that there is no obvious trigger but often it can be something that at first glance seems quite insignificant or not even related to you that triggers some thoughts and feeling from the past. For example, it might be that a friend has a child who is being bullied at school and they talk to you about it, this could bring up your own childhood bullying that you thought you had locked well away or make you realise that you are in fact being bullied yourself at work. I

t can sometimes take a while to make a link and begin to develop and understanding as to how your depression impacts you and those around you. Once this process of exploration and reflection starts to take place it creates an awareness in you that in time will enable you to see you have choices as to how you want to live with your depression. 

Sometimes medication is needed and necessary, sometimes understanding yourself at a deeper level can provide you with the tools to spot the triggers early enough so that you can manage them more effectively in the future.

Mental health and particularly depression is still very misunderstood, its not as obvious as a broken leg but still requires the same support and care from family and friends. Many people suffer in silence and I hope that if this article does anything it helps someone to find the strength to talk to someone and seek the support that they need, be it from friends & family or a more structured support from professionals.

Take care and keep an awareness of those around you who may be silently suffering.

Warm regards


Monday, 13 February 2012

It's Good To Talk – About Job Fulfilment

Dear Kate

I have been reading your column on and off for a few months and don’t know if you can help but decided to ask anyway.

I have been living in Ibiza for just over two years and have fallen in love with the island.  I was nervous about coming alone and setting up a life for myself but everyone has been really friendly and welcoming and now I have a great circle of friends, there are times when I feel a little lonely but I'm OK with that and sure there would be times back in England when I might have felt a bit lonely as well.

The real issue for me is work. I bad about complaining because I know a lot of people find it difficult to get jobs especially in the winter and I am lucky enough to have an all-year round job but I really hate it.

I'm scared to give it up as I know I am lucky to have it; I just find it so tedious and boring. The only good thing about it is that it enables me to stay here and I have made one good friend there.

Thank you very much and I hope you don’t’ think I'm being unreasonable.

Dear TS

Thank you for your e-mail and I wonder why you feel you might be being unreasonable? If something is causing you anxiety or stress then that makes it important and something that you might want to explore.

People often compare how others might respond to a similar situation and feel uncomfortable that what they are experiencing is not "as important" as the problems other people may have, BUT the reality is everyone reacts to different things in their lives in a different way and therefore comparing reactions or trying to attribute a level of importance to your issue is impossible.

The only thing you need to focus on is that if it is important to you then that in itself validates it 100 per cent.

So, focussing on your issue i.e. work is important. We spend a huge amount of time at work and finding it tedious and boring must be difficult.    I suppose you have a few options; one being that you approach your boss/manager and ask if there are any additional projects/tasks or responsibilities that you can take on, explaining that you are finding that your current role is not stimulating you enough and you feel you can offer the business more then it is currently getting from you.

I am sure it is not often that employees ask for more and it could be that your manager is simply unaware of how you are feeling.

Another option would be to explore your fear of looking for an alternative post somewhere else. You have left England and set yourself up in Ibiza very successfully on your own which must have felt quite daunting at times so what is holding you back for taking that risk again and looking for another job?

I understand you may feel that your opportunities here are more limited then in England but if you were able to find, apply and be successful in your last application, is there any reason why that might not happen again?

Ibiza is a wonderful island and you sound as if you have found a place to live that real fits with who you are, it would be a shame to let your feeling about your current job impact your life outside of work, and I hope that you find a way to feel more stimulated and challenged in the near future.

Please do keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

Warm regards

It's Good To Talk - When Heading Back To Britain

Dear It’s Good to Talk

We have been in Ibiza for 17 years and till about two years ago we enjoyed living here, work in the summer has always been full on and very tiring but then we have been able to chill out and relax in the winter.

The last two years me and my wife have become very restless and have decided that it’s probably time to head back to the UK. The island has begun to feel very small and we are now looking forward to starting again back home.

The thing that worries us is that both the kids were born here, they have only ever been to the UK for holidays and see Ibiza as home, one of them is quite excited about living in the UK but the other, who is 14, really is against the idea and wants to stay here with his friends.

What do you think we should do to make the transition as easy as possible for him?

Thank you


Thank you for your letter. It seems as if you and your wife have taken your decision to move very seriously and considered it for a long period of time before finally deciding that the best thing is to move back to the UK.

Change is difficult for many people and most of us resist it at some time in our lives, especially if it’s a change over which we have no control. Your son is at a very vulnerable time in his life, all sorts of things are going on aged 14 and friends become a top priority often over family, and it can be distressing to think about having to leave them.

I am not sure of the time line you have in place for moving back, is there time to put some things in place for your son? For example would it be possible to have one or maybe two trips back to the UK before the actual move, so he can see the area in which you are going to live, maybe visit the new school and if possible make contact with a few of his classmates so there are some familiar faces for when he arrives on his first day. Does he have any hobbies or sports that he enjoys playing? Maybe you could see if there are any local groups he could join and visit them as well. I imagine it would make him much more comfortable if he knew there were some positives in place for him and he had a mental picture of where he was going.

Have you asked him what worries him about moving? Would it be possible to arrange for a friend from Ibiza to come and stay during the holidays and possibly for him to come back for a stay with them, that way he has something to look forward to.

You do not mention your other child much except to say they seem quite excited about the move. Even though this maybe the case they may also have some apprehensions and anxieties so and open discussion with both the children, letting them see that both of you also have concerns even though you feel it is the best thing for all of you, may really help you to make this move together as a team.

I hope the move goes well and that live in the UK is all that you hope.

Warm regards