Kelly Bishop's top 10 tips for dealing with depression

  This week, we're very pleased to welcome Kelly Bishop, prominent mental health blogger and writer from the US, whom we came across via Talkspace.com. Many thanks Kelly for the great advice you give here, we recommend the tips to our users.        1) Remember: you’re not alone.   The most important thing to remember when you’re down in the trenches of depression is that you are not alone! There are millions of people who suffer from that debilitating sadness, those negative thoughts, that exhaustion from life.         ...


OCD Action - help, information & support for sufferers and those affected

  This week at Cathartic, it is our great pleasure to blog about OCD Action (www.ocdaction.org.uk) who since 1994 have been at the forefront of providing support and information to anyone affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder or related disorders, including family, friends and carers of those affected directly. In addition, OCD Action work tirelessly to raise awareness of the disorder amongst the public and front-line healthcare workers, as well as advocating on behalf of sufferers to secure a better deal for OCD disorders.  So what is OCD? you may ask...


Mind Matters Training - giving you the opportunity to have a voice

  When Mind Matters was asked by Cathartic to share our work with their audience, we were delighted to. We were delighted because we appreciate all opportunities to make a positive difference to the lives of people with mental health problems, whether that’s ensuring they have access to a range of professional support organisations such as those on our ‘Get Support Now’ webpage, or by ensuring they have access to self-help tools such as those on the Mind Matters ‘Resources’ page. Mind Matters and the support website were set up in 2015 as a platform for sha...


Bridge Mental Health - a Great Regional Resource for Greenwich (London)

  In our latest blog we take the unusual step of featuring a local organisation. Whilst restricted to referrals within the Royal Borough of Greenwich (London), we believe the services offered by Bridge Mental Health are best-in-class and will be of interest to our community, not least in terms of what a regional support service can offer. Operating for over 25 years, Bridge Mental Health provides support for people with enduring mental health conditions, helping them to improve their lives so they can be as resilient and independent of services as possible. Mental health and wellbeing s...


NO PANIC - More Than Just An Acronym...

  An acronym as well as a very appropriate title for a charity providing support for those with anxiety disorders, the National Organisation for Phobias, Anxiety Neuroses, Information and Care has been providing support since 1991. Since then, its reach has expanded to unrecognisable levels- from 253 calls fielded by 4 volunteers in the first year to current stats of over 75,000 calls per year, 90 volunteers and a membership base of 1,500 (mainly UK).   Support on offer includes a confidential helpline, phone recovery groups, a ‘contact-book’ introduction service (conn...


CoolTan Arts - Using Creativity to Overcome Mental Health Issues

  Today we are featuring a pioneering charity, CoolTan Arts who provide creative arts workshops to assist adults in their recovery from mental health issues as well as providing training, support and volunteering opportunities to these people. Based in London and operating for over 25 years, the charity is run by adults with experience of mental distress and provides a service for those suffering from any kind of mental health issue, whether it be anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or any other condition.   Workshops cover a variety of disciplines including visua...


Action for Happiness - a space for people to have a conversation nationally

  For an organisation that counts the Dalai Lama as its Patron and whose vision is ‘a happier world, with fewer people suffering with mental health problems and more people feeling good, functioning well and helping others’ we can see why Action for Happiness is so popular, attracting a lot of attention both within the media and amongst its community.   Central to the organisation’s success is that whilst a registered charity it is clear that Action for Happiness is more of a movement embodying a recommended approach to life than merely a support organisation. At...


Book Review - Walking on Sunshine, 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly

  Following Rachel Kelly’s eye opening first hand account of the debilitating effects of depression through her memoir Black Rainbow I’m very happy to say that her second book, whilst covering no less serious subject matter, offers the reader a more light hearted journey through life’s trials and tribulations.   Over the course of a year Rachel shares her top tips for improving and maintaining good mental health; written in a very accessible yet totally credible style, with excellent accompanying illustrations from Jonathan Pugh (Daily Mail cartoonist), this was...


Mindfulness - My Journey out of Depression

    I have always been one of life’s worriers, many times worrying when I didn’t have anything to worry about. My head would be constantly filled with movie reels playing out scenes from disaster movies mixed with what shopping do we need, have I got time to do the hoovering before I collect the children from school and what shall we have for dinner!   I now look back and realise that I have lived a life in a constant rush like a hamster on a wheel, never taking time to enjoy all the good bits and allowing my head to focus a lot on the bad bits…divorce, de...


Better Mental Health in the Workplace, with Geoff McDonald

    Last week, we met with Geoff McDonald, former Global VP Human Resources at the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods behemoth Unilever. At 20 years into a successful corporate career, in January 2008 Geoff suffered an overnight breakdown which marked the beginning of a 3 month battle with anxiety and depression.   After returning to work at Unilever following this period of ill-health, Geoff ramped up his focus on mental and emotional well-being in the workplace and since leaving Unilever in 2014 has become a leading consultant in the field. As well as this, he is a prominent campa...


Do The Arts Have An Obligation To Mental Health?

    Today on Cathartic, Emily Oldfield writes about Mental Health & The Arts:   ‘The arts’ is a weird world – a term in itself which can incorporate so much. In short, it focuses on tasks of creative expression; and this essentially involves ‘the mind’; a similarly all-encompassing term. They are presented as important, with the title of ‘the’, yet often difficult to understand. Yet I believe consideration of both ‘the arts’ and ‘the mind’ together can actually bring us closer to clarity. They may be...


Honesty About Mental Illness Is An Asset In The Workplace.

    Today at Cathartic, Emily Oldfield writes about Mental Health & The Workplace:   So many people work with mental illnesses. This is an important statement in two ways. Firstly it emphasizes a big truth, that employees up and down the country face working at the same time as suffering from a mental health problem, as people facing physical health problems often work too. Yet what unfortunately still shocks is the second point that people do indeed ‘work’ with a mental illness – they can be productive, powerful and make positive contributions just as any ...


Cathartic Interview: Kimberley Giles, Musings Of An Anxious Girl.

  Today at Cathartic, we are pleased to be highlighting the story of Kimberley, a mental health blogger who is documenting her battle with various mental health issues. Kimberley writes about her experiences on her blog, http://musingsofananxiousgirl.blogspot.co.uk/   When did you first become aware that you were suffering from mental health issues? I was 10 years old and had pulled out all of my eyelashes. I thought I would get told off, only being a child, and so hid this secret from my family until I was 22 years old.   What was the catalyst that made you reach out for ...


Why Manchester Made Me More Mindful.

  People often assume that big cities only add to stress and worry – a view in itself I believe is unhelpful and needs to be challenged. After all, many people cannot avoid the city – as they often work and study in it – and to demonise urban space is to detract from all that is inspiring there. Cathartic.co itself was established in Manchester and espouses the positive qualities of the place, connecting with people all over the world – and just one aspect as to why it matters to mindfulness.   Modern media often endorses the idea of ‘country e...


Unlock Your Inner Power… Right Now.

  Today on Cathartic, Emily Oldfield writes a celebration of imagination and the power it can give you:   People often say ‘you are stronger than you think’ – a phrase which I believe is actually unhelpful. You are strong BECAUSE you think. Your mind is mighty because of all that it is capable of – inventive and inspiring combinations of thought, unleashing your imagination. Especially when you find yourself in times of difficulty, your imagination is capable of creating a release – and this is something to remember. It is not an ‘escape&rsquo...


Take Yourself On Holiday... In The Everyday.

  Today on Cathartic, Emily Oldfield writes about adopting a holiday attitude for mental wellbeing:   It is coming to that time of year when people are already talking about their ‘holiday’ plans – you may hear phrases like ‘I just need a break’ or ‘I want to get away for a while’ flying around. This made me think; what does a ‘holiday’ represent? To many people it is seen as one of the only times it is ‘acceptable’ to break from their ‘routine’, to ‘relax’. Yes, of course a holiday typicall...


What Are You Waiting For? Stop Denying And Start Trying

    Today on Cathartic, Emily Oldfield writes about breaking free from the limitations of denial:   It seems that many of us would define most moments of our lives as ‘in wait’ for something – which seems a strange concept in itself when you think about it it. We often talk of ourselves in the future ‘I have this appointment in three weeks’ or ‘tomorrow I am going here’ – rather than feeling part of the present day. How often do you actually say to someone ‘I am –‘ and talk about how you ARE feeling? It can b...


Improve Your Self Esteem & Learn To Be Kind To Yourself.

  Today on Cathartic, Sophie Hailwood writes about the ways you can help eliminate the power of the negative thoughts you feel about yourself and create a kinder space in your mind for you.   You often read about the benefits of loving yourself, or see quotes and pictures on the internet that encourage self appreciation and love. However, when you are caught in a negative cycle of self depreciation it can be extremely difficult to break free from it. There was a moment in my life where I realised that most of the thoughts I had about myself were negative, my internal narrative wo...


How To Improve Someone Else's Day.

  There are moments in life that you will always remember. Moments when someone has taken the time out of their day to do something unprompted and kind that have had an impact upon uplifting your mood. Today on Cathartic, Sophie Hailwood writes about five ways you can reciprocate and have a brightening effect upon the day of another person.    Take Time Out To Really Listen:   People need conversation and the social interaction can be of real value to people who feel unheard or may be struggling silently with a problem. Listening provides people with a platform to all...


5 Ways To Lessen Anxiety.

  There are times when it seems impossible to cope with anxiety. The physical and mental stress it can place you under can be overwhelming. Today on Cathartic, Sophie Hailwood writes about five ways of dealing with anxiety that we can all try.   Set Aside Time To Worry:   Anxiety is a state of mind that can be with you constantly. It can prevent you from completing even the most basic tasks as you become overwhelmed with your own thoughts. One technique to allow yourself to be free from anxiety is to dedicate a specific time each day to worrying. Set a time of 15 minutes e...


Cathartic Interview: Vesa Närhi, Depression Unraveled.

  Today at Cathartic we are speaking to Vesa Närhi, a 22 year old from Finland. Vesa has suffered with depression for most of his life and now blogs about his experiences at https://depressionunraveled.wordpress.com.   Hi Vesa, Please Introduce Yourself To Our Readers:   My name is Vesa Närhi, I’m 22 years old and from Finland. Almost all of my life, I’ve had a feeling that I should do something meaningful in my lifetime, yet for years, the feeling of not knowing what that something was, was lingering inside of me, like waiting for the right opportunit...


I Am Not Defined By An Eating Disorder, I Am Overcoming It.

  Emily Oldfield writes openly about her Eating Disorder and why she is determined to raise more awareness through conversation:   As we approach the end of Eating Disorder Awareness week... I am at the beginning of my recovery. Because it’s not just awareness that’s needed, but honesty – and I’m taking the step to tell people and be open about it, along with the brilliant platform of Carthartic.co. Even if it encourages even just one person, even just in regards to self-esteem, to recognise that they have a power greater than any other; the power to embra...


The Situation Between Should And Must: Can Set You Free.

  Emily Oldfield writes about the key difference between Should and Must when facing decisions:   Do you ever feel trapped by your routine? It is surprisingly easy to become caught up in a pattern of doing things because we assume it is ‘productive’, or we feel obliged because we have ‘always done it’. Yet in order to ENJOY your actions, these rise NOT out of obligation, but out of best interest. So many people often express a wish to ‘break out’ of their daily routine – something they associate with stress and pressure. What I want to ur...


Ways To Cope With Burnout.

  Today on Cathartic, Sophie Hailwood writes about Burnout - What It Is and How To Cope With It:   We all have an ability to deal with a certain level of stress, but how can you tell when stress has manifested itself into a state of burnout? Working long hours or coping with increased levels of stress for too long can lead to an inevitable point where something has to give. Burnout is a state of chronic stress that can lead to physical or mental exhaustion and be severely debilitating to recover from.  Modern life can be hectic and demanding on you, physically and mentally. ...


Cathartic Interview: Charlie Claydon, my-mentalhealth.org

  Today at Cathartic, we are delighted to be joined by Charlie Claydon from my-mentalhealth.org.uk. Charlie has suffered with depression and anxiety since primary school age, which went undiagnosed until his early twenties. Charlie is here today to share his story of mental health issues and discuss why he was inspired to start a website that is now successfully helping many other people struggling with their own mental health.   Hi Charlie, Please introduce yourself to our readers: My name is Charlie Claydon, I am 29 years old and was born and raised a little fishing village c...


Dealing With Bad Days In Good Ways.

  Sometimes I feel like I have beaten depression, there are unfortunate days when I find myself slipping back into a dark place and I often see people asking what they do when this happens to them. Today on Cathartic, I want to discuss how I cope when things around me seem to be in chaos, to help you understand that a bad day is no reflection upon you. Depression is something, that I believe, never leaves you. It is something that needs to be managed, learned from and worked around. I used to live in fear of depression coming back and haunting my day to day life, taking me and pulling ...


Unlock Your Own Abilities - In The Face of Anxiety?

  Today on Cathartic, Emily Oldfield writes about the value of using anxiety to unlock your own abilities:   The Path To Acceptance   Anxiety often arises out of pressure, and I have found through experience that it can actually be worsened by unhelpful responses towards it; both from the person affected and those around them. Anxiety is a response of fear regarding life’s uncertainties – and these uncertainties are inevitable. We cannot be sure of everything in life. It seems unfair then that so many people’s anxieties are brushed away with ‘don&rs...


Cathartic Interview: Steve Carr, Mind Canyon.

  Today at Cathartic we are delighted to be speaking to Steve Carr, from MindCanyon, who is walking from Lands End to John O’ Groats to highlight a campaign for greater awareness of Homelessness and Mental Health issues within the UK. We caught up with Steve to find out what inspired him to take on such a mammoth challenge and how MindCanyon are helping to highlight the plight of not only the homeless, but those affected by mental health issues.   There is a background to why you are raising awareness with this UK wide walk, tell us about it: After a near death experience ...


Let’s Look At The Images Eating Disorders Create.

  Today on Cathartic, Emily Oldfield discusses the imagery that affects eating disorders:   A person affected by an eating disorder may not be like the skeletal-style photographs often used to scare people. They may even be a’ picture of health’ or socially-packaged ‘success’ on the surface. But what is crucial to recognise is that images/pictures can be the most deceptive, cruel and harmful. People suffering from eating disorders are often afflicted by the demands of an unhealthy relationship with body image – experiencing hurt, hate and guilt on a ...


Mark Cassidy On The Personal Benefits Of Writing.

    We often promote the benefits of writing on Cathartic, today we are sharing a post written by Mark Cassidy.  Mark wants to explain why writing has been of benefit to him throughout his life.   George Orwell once wrote that there are 4 reasons a writer writes; sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse or political purpose. Now, not to say he was wrong (I’m a big fan) but I think there is another that can be added to that list. Wellbeing. Perhaps while he was alive and writing our mental health and wellbeing wasn’t thought of as much or as pro...