Why Depression May Actually Be Your Greatest Teacher

Graeme Cowandepression

The ability to let go of unreachable goals can be a sign that depression is a natural defence mechanismFor most people, depression – however it manifests and whatever its roots – is an insidious and destructive illness that drags you down into hopelessness, unproductiveness and a cycle of negative thinking that can undermine recovery efforts. The effects on your life … Read More

Book Review: The Mindful Way Through Depression

Graeme CowanUncategorized

I am a big fan of meditation, and regularly attend meditation retreats as part of my efforts to maintain a healthy, focused and balanced mind. This book – published in 2007 – introduces the practice of mindfulness meditation as a tool for tackling depression. Written by 4 PhDs with extensive experience in the subject area between them, the book and … Read More

How You Can Nearly Read Yourself Out of Depression

Graeme CowanUncategorized

When you’re in the depths of depression: you have no energy; you can’t concentrate; you don’t feel like you can do anything, or that anything is worth doing; any activity is draining and derives you no pleasure; you just want to stop feeling this bad. Even mustering up the energy to take action to tackle your illness is difficult. So, … Read More

Finding a Mental Health Savvy GP

Graeme CowanUncategorized

In research undertaken for my book BACK FROM THE BRINK TOO, people who had been through a severe bout of depression told me that if they had their time over, they would seek expert help much earlier. How do you access that expertise? Alarmingly, during a doctor’s initial six year university education, most institutions devote miniscule coverage to depression, anxiety, … Read More

Exercise: The foundation stone for robust mental health

Graeme CowanUncategorized

Nobody doubts the benefits of exercise for physical health. What isn’t as widely known or discussed is how essential moderate exercise is to our mental wellbeing. I created an online survey which sought to find out what health strategies helped people who have experienced an episode of depression or anxiety to bounce back from setbacks. I took a holistic approach, and asked people to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies such as exercise, good rest, good nutrition, emotional support from family, friends, and support groups, fulfilling work, hobbies, charity work, as well as traditional approaches like psychological counselling and medication. In all, over 60 strategies were evaluated, and 4080 respondents were asked to rate those they had tried. Exercise was in the top three.