Sober living can be a challenging journey for anyone. It’s important to have the support of family and friends as you go through this process. As someone who cares about your friend, you may want to reach out to show your support. Here are some thoughts on how best to do this.
Be Present and Listen
Your presence can be very powerful in helping a friend who is working on sobriety. Listening is one of the most important things you can do when you’re trying to show your support. Offer an open ear and an understanding heart, without judgment or criticism. Ask questions that show you care and demonstrate that you’re paying attention, such as “How are you feeling?” or “What do you need right now?” You don’t have to have all the answers; just being present and offering an understanding ear can make all the difference.
Recommend More Specialised Help if Needed
You may want to suggest or support your friend in seeking professional help if they need it. This could include group meetings, individual counselling sessions or even visiting a Drug Addiction Recovery Information Center. Let them know you are there for them and that you believe in their recovery journey.
Offer Non-Alcoholic Activities & Support Groups
If your friend is struggling with addiction, it’s important to find ways for them to fill their time with activities that don’t involve alcohol or drugs. Suggest things like going for walks together, visiting parks or museums, playing board games, etc., so they can still enjoy themselves without any temptation from alcohol or drugs. Additionally, attending support groups with them could be helpful in providing encouragement throughout their journey towards sobriety. This could help them gain strength from others who are also facing similar struggles and create a sense of community for them during this difficult time.
Be Patient & Encouraging
Most importantly, remain patient and encouraging throughout your friend’s recovery process. Sobriety doesn’t happen overnight; it takes commitment, hard work, and dedication to maintain sobriety in the long run–so stay by your friend’s side throughout their entire journey no matter how long it takes! Lastly, make sure that they know that they are not alone during this difficult time – everyone needs a little extra love once in a while!
Supporting a friend through sobriety is no easy task – but it is certainly possible if done with patience and empathy! Showing up for them with an open ear, offering non-alcoholic activities and support groups, plus encouraging words can make all the difference in helping them stay sober! With enough help from loved ones, anyone can take control of their addiction and live a healthier life full of hope and promise!
Self-awareness is one of the most important things we can have as individuals. How we view ourselves, our relationships with others, and our environment are all critical aspects of how we interact with the world. However, it’s not always easy to recognise which people in our lives might not be so friendly. People who display certain qualities may seem nice on the surface, but underneath can be unkind, self-centered, or even toxic.
They can also be so because they possess certain traits that might make them difficult to get along with. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, a team player, or a loner, you’ll probably encounter someone who doesn’t mesh well with others from time to time. You may wonder, “How does a narcissist react when they can’t control you?” While it’s challenging to pick up on a narcissist or a toxic person immediately, here are some ways to help you identify the warning signs of a toxic person so that you can steer clear of them in the future.
While assertiveness isn’t wrong, too much can cause issues. Assertive people are not afraid to take control of their lives and their surroundings. Instead, they want the power to make decisions and express themselves. They don’t like being treated as though they’re weak or insignificant or any other sort of negative adjective.
They want to feel like the most important person in the room and that people listen to them when they speak. While assertiveness is a positive trait, it can shift into a negative one if expressed too aggressively or excessively. While this is a toxic trait, it doesn’t mean someone is inherently toxic just by having this trait alone.
Too Much Negativity
It can be hard to just unwind if you’re around someone that’s too negative. Everyone has had experience with negative people online, but having to have a relationship with someone negative can raise some alarm bells. When you do share your opinion, many people disagree with you and make your life difficult by leaving nasty comments.
It’s not good to deal with when someone constantly belittles or puts down others around them. This can be done by saying negative things about people behind their backs, making fun of them, or even physically hurting them. If you don’t want to deal with this negativity all day, it may be time for you to stop sharing your opinions.
Lack of Boundaries
One of the most obvious signs of a toxic person is when they start talking about political topics knowing that it’s not appropriate. This may be a sign that they’re looking for validation. If you’re not interested in what they have to say, it’s best to change the subject or walk away from the conversation. They might also feel threatened by you being open-minded and not having opinions on everything they believe in. Toxic people are often judgmental and don’t care about your feelings. They will attack your beliefs without realising how their words can hurt you.
People often associate arrogance with toxic people, but many arrogant people feel entitled. They feel they are owed more than they’ve given, and they can be demanding regarding things like dates, friendships, or relationships. This trait is related to low self-esteem as the person who is arrogant and entitled might also struggle with their sense of self-worth.
Toxic people who are entitled might also be difficult for someone who wants a lot out of life or has yet to find their place in society. In these cases, the narcissist could become frustrated and lash out at those around them because they can’t understand why the other person isn’t either completely submissive or completely indulgent towards them in all circumstances.
Everyone has their reasons for wanting to be defensive; this is completely normal and even acceptable. However, this can be a toxic trait if it occurs too much. Sometimes, light banter can be fun, and someone shouldn’t be defensive then. But even if someone is giving their opinion and someone else becomes defensive, then this could lean towards toxic behaviour. However, this can vary based on the situation.
Lack of Respect
Toxic people tend to consider your needs and expectations an offense or challenge to their self-esteem. They will lash out in anger or manipulate you into believing you’re responsible for them feeling bad. In reality, they cannot provide the respect and attention you need. This can cause frustration and resentment on your part. On the other hand, people willing to listen and respond appropriately will be more willing to meet your needs without criticising or judging them in return.
Constant Behavioral Changes
One of the most common traits is when someone’s behaviour is erratic, unpredictable, and often always changing. They might be jealous, demeaning, or unreliable. Someone who’s toxic will act a certain way towards you one day and completely change their behaviour the next day.
A high ego is usually matched up with a narcissist, but keep in mind that not all toxic people or toxic traits are going to equate to this immediately. However, having too high of ego can indeed be a negative thing. They have an inflated sense of who they are as well as what they can do for you. They might also try to constantly tell you how to live your life and interfere with your decisions. They may always look out for themselves before anyone else in regard to everything from work to relationships.
Toxic people can be hard to spot. They can be easy to find in a friend, colleague, or even a romantic partner. However, if you’re unsure hopefully this article will help you spot a narcissist or toxic individual.
thortful launches ‘Affirmations by Bryony Gordon’ to mark World Mental Health Day
100% of profits will go to the Community Programme founded by Bryony; Mental Health Mates
Greetings card marketplace thortful.com has worked with journalist and broadcaster and Mental Health Mates founder Bryony Gordon to create a series of positive affirmation cards written by Bryony and beautifully brought to life by illustrator Frankie Rose. The cards campaign is in support of Mental Health Mates and Better Health – Every Mind Matters.
World Mental Health Day took place on Sunday 10th October, and throughout the month, thortful will be supporting both Mental Health Mates and the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign. The campaign encourages people to look after their mental wellbeing by getting a free NHS-approved Mind Plan. When it comes to taking care of your mental health, having a plan is a brilliant first step. So, throughout the month of October thortful are encouraging people to take the NHS-approved Mind Plan quiz, for personalised ideas to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Mental Health Mates is a network of peer support groups run by people who experience their own mental health issues, meeting regularly to walk, connect and share without fear or judgement. With walks and online communities across the United Kingdom, Mental Health Mates is a thriving community and one that is committed to growing to reach even more people in need of mental health support.
The affirmation cards collection is available exclusively at thortful. The cards include a QR code on the back, to scan to find out more about the partnership and tips to improve mental wellbeing.
Bryony comments: ‘Physical cards are so important, I used to receive them from my friend Fearne (Cotton) during lockdown, when she would write to me just for the hell of it, and it meant so much when it dropped onto the mat, even though we are in constant contact on WhatsApp! It’s easy to forget the stuff that is good for us and harder to retain it. I think affirmations are brilliant and important reminders of the things that make us feel good about ourselves. Reading an affirmation can really help us put positive behaviours into action.’
Clare Perkins, Deputy Director Personalised Prevention, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID formerly Public Health England) comments: ‘We are pleased to be continuing our partnership with thortful to support people with tips and advice to improve their wellbeing this World Mental Health Day and beyond. There are little steps we can all take to look after our mental health, and getting a free, NHS-approved Mind Plan is a great way to start. It’s important to find out what works for you and that’s why the Every Mind Matters website has lots of resources to try.’
Andy Pearce CEO of thortful comments: ‘We’re delighted to be able to host this collection for Bryony and her amazing community programme. Since our inception in 2016 thortful has always supported Mental Health causes so we’re delighted to be involved. We are also incredibly proud to continue our support of the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign by encouraging our community to get a Mind Plan.’
The UK went into lockdown and I went into meltdown.
When I heard the announcement on the news, I was on my Mum’s sofa and I immediately felt the usual sick way that I do when I get anxious. I needed to get out of the house, so I quickly escaped on a walk with my dog. My thoughts were far from pleasant and I silently cried while I slowly paced around my local area. This marked the start of a tough couple of weeks.
I fell into the behaviours that you would probably expect from a person with anxieties, I was obsessed with updates on the lockdown, it became my most frequently searched term on Google! My skin condition, urticaria, flared up which happens when I experience stress. My sleeping got worse than usual and I was easily irritated by silly things. Most of all, I fixated on the negatives of my situation, such as the impact living alone would have on me.
I’m not going to pretend that I had an epiphany on day fifteen and I’m now thriving in my new life of one daily walk and it being a glam day if I put on jeans!
However, I’ve now established a flexible routine and I’ve settled into working from home.
I check the news once a day and I appreciate that I am lucky to be healthy and still have my job. However, I don’t give myself a hard time when I have a bad day and I don’t pay attention to unhelpful comments online, criticising people for struggling as there are others with more serious struggles. Of course, this is true, but I heard recently that, ‘you wouldn’t tell someone not to be happy, because there is someone happier’ and that has stuck with me ever since.
The most positive outcome of this situation for me, is that I am in touch with my thoughts, emotions and my behaviour, more than ever.
Some things that have helped me are:
Reawakening my passion for writing: As a Careers Coach, I regularly create resources and assist others with writing about themselves. However, it had been so long since I wrote for pleasure. I now record my thoughts in a journal, you are currently reading my second blog post and I rediscovered my love for writing poems. Writing has felt a bit like offloading to my best friend; I get out my thoughts and I then feel better.
Walking: I think it’s amazing that so many people are focusing on their fitness, but I was previously anxious about my weight, so I don’t put pressure on myself to follow a rigid exercise routine. Pre-lockdown, when I had a crap day, I benefitted from getting out of the house and being around others; walking isn’t a substitute for this, but it helps me to get rid of negative energy by doing something active.
Keeping my space tidy: This won’t work for everyone but a clear space, means a clearer mind for me. I also find cleaning quite therapeutic as it helps me to focus on the task in hand and not overthink.
Paying it forward: I have been trying to spread some positivity remotely, for example, I suggested to my colleagues that we each send a card to another person in the team with a positive message. I also started an Instagram account to raise awareness of mental health and share experiences and strategies with others. As a people person, helping and connecting with others always lifts my mood.
Revisiting coping mechanisms for anxiety: I have done a lot of research into cognitive behaviour therapy techniques over the last few years, as some of the principles are useful for my job in supporting young people. I have also personally been through this type of therapy; this helps me to reframe negative thoughts and therefore gain better control of my feelings and actions.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I still regularly think that I can’t wait for this to be over! I miss the little things in my life, but the lockdown has caused me to have a deeper appreciation for all the good aspects of it.
I have also realised that the little things ARE the BIG things. Being forced into this situation that I have no control over, has helped me to put less focus on other things that I can’t control.
I was previously anxious about being single as I am about to approach my 30th birthday, but I have gained a more positive perspective on this. I may not be able to control what happens TO me, but I can control what is IN me, which are my thoughts and how they make me feel and react.
Nicole is a careers coach and freelance writer in the UK and is on Instagram @nicole_no_filter
Many of you will know Trigger Publishing, who publish my book and focus on books dedicated to promoting good mental health and wellbeing. At the moment, the world is in turmoil and everything feels uncertain. Sometimes we all need a pick me up and these lovely range of mini pocket books by Trigger do just that!
They are a beautifully designed range of little gift books filled with inspirational quotes to lift the spirits in challenging times. The quotes are from well known figures and so inspiring. The books make great gifts as they are small and visually appealing- the perfect present for yourself or to give to a good friend to cheer them up.
Trigger say that they have published them to coincide with Mother’s Day, Easter and of course International Women’s Day last week.
The range includes the Pocket Book of Love for when relationships are challenging- to provide much needed wisdom and advice to restore, reset and revive you.
There is also the Pocket Book of Hope, for when things seem bleak and you need to find hope in your life, which is also filled with wise quotes such as,
‘Hope is passion for what is possible’- Kierkegaard
I was gifted these two books and they are beautifully made and so lovely to read! There is a quote for almost any situation.
The books were published on the 5th March and can be bought on Amazon here:
It has been a while since I have written a personal blog as there has been so much going on here that I was just focusing on getting through it all. Robs dad had surgery to remove a second brain tumour and is thankfully recovering well, the surgeon amazingly got all the cancer. Success.
Alongside this, I have been in therapy since November with a wonderful therapist and we are doing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy). This therapy helps to process trauma that can get ‘stuck’ in the brain if not processed. That trauma can stem from childhood upwards- I was an anxious child from an early age even though I had a good childhood! I have also been through a lot due to my bipolar episodes and hospitalisations. So, I am working with my therapist to process memories and we are doing it slowly.
My therapist will either ‘tap’ on the side of my legs while I recall the memory to help process it or my eyes will follow a light or her finger as we process. Understandably, there has to be a lot of trust in this type of relationship as well as me being protected and not triggered by the therapy. For this, we have developed a ‘safe place’ memory that I go to when we bring up anything too distressing. We have just started to go deeper with this and I will update you with our progress. I am far less anxious than I was and it has been really helpful to build a positive, working relationship with my therapist.
The reason I started therapy was because I was having intense panic attacks and finding it difficult to manage my life due to it. I hope that by working on these triggers that I can react differently and live a healthier and better life. Stay tuned!
A month or so ago, I also went to see my psychiatrist for the first time in 2 years, mainly as I had worries about my weight and physical health. My medications means I have put on a substantial amount of weight and this is worrying me health wise more than anything. I have been advised to diet and exercise and maybe work with a nutritionist. So, this will also be a new journey and I will try my best with this, not easy as the meds may stop me losing weight due to slowing metabolism or encouraging cravings. We considered reducing my Quetaipine, a mood stabiliser and anti psychotic to help but because I have been more mentally stable, I have decided to keep it at the same dose for now.
Rob and I have also started to look at new homes, which has been good. There is a lot happening right now and important that I rest, look after myself and keep calm.
Life with bipolar disorder can be uncertain. I have some fears about the future, which I will talk about in another more detailed post. My medicines thankfully keep me mentally well, but coming off them for future life changes eg pregnancy could be a big risk for me and one I am not sure I should take due to being bipolar 1 (risk of mania and psychosis). This is not currently imminent, but is still a future fear, especially as I love children. A decision for a later date.
Overall though I am hopeful and excited about life and will keep you all updated with my therapy and health journey and news.
Thanks for reading and following Be Ur Own Light as we come up to our 4th anniversary,
As some of you will be aware, back in 2017-2018, I helped as a volunteer with fellow volunteers (Lisa Coffman and others) to found the Mental Health Awareness Shabbat (Jewish sabbath) in our communities across the country here in the UK. The initiative, led by the mental health charity Jami and conceived by Rabbi Daniel Epstein, now runs in 150 Jewish communities.
This year, my dad Mike and I were delighted to be asked to share our father and daughter journey with bipolar disorder to Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue.
I have social anxiety- which includes at times a fear of public speaking. In December, I had a breakthrough, where I spoke for a short time at a conference called Limmud alongside my Dad and read from my book Bring me to Light. So, when we were asked to do this talk at Chigwell, I felt it could be possible.
I armed myself with the fact that I knew kind people in the community including the Rabbi and his wife and friends of my husband Rob (its the community he grew up in). I also wanted to share my story to help other people.
So, we stayed with a lovely lady in the community and had friday night dinner with the Rabbi and his family. On Saturday morning, I woke up feeling a little nervous but took my trusted anxiety medication for when I need it- Propranolol, and walked to the synagogue with Dad.
I managed not to have a panic attack and the thought of speaking to help others got me through (as did distraction, deep breathing and drinking a glass of water).
So, at the end of the service, we were called up to speak. Dad went first and talked about his journey with bipolar disorder from when it started for him in 1991 to finding recovery. Then, it was my turn.
I stood up there in the pulpit speaking to a packed audience with a prepared speech. I felt scared but also empowered and began to relax into the talk. I knew that by sharing what happened to me, being sectioned and so ill and talking openly, that I could break stigma and touch others. I was also so proud of my Dad for speaking so openly.
It was only after, when talking to people after the service, that we realised that about 150 people came to listen to our talk! We had some important conversations with people after our talk including someone very newly diagnosed and someone else whose niece had bipolar and is currently very ill.
I couldn’t and still can’t believe I was able to do that. However, since I have been very tired so trying to de-stress and rest as much as I can!
We just want to thank everyone who came to hear our talk and supported us, to every person who thanked us for coming and shared their stories with us. We are so grateful for such a positive reception and thank Rabbi Davis and the Chigwell community for having us.
The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat has had events in communities all across the country. It runs yearly and you can find out more here
Mental health is extremely important and has a significant impact on a person’s overall health and wellbeing. According to a recent survey by the NHS, one in eight 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed. As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s mental health. Fortunately, you can help improve your child’s mental health by creating a supportive family environment at home and learning the early warning signs of common mental health disorders, for example. With this in mind, here are some top ways to care for your child’s mental health.
Develop a good bedtime routine
Sleep plays a vital role in a child’s mental health. Research shows that there is a strong link between sleep problems and an increased risk of developing certain mental illnesses. In fact, one study found that four-year olds with sleep disorders have a much higher risk of developing symptoms of mental health conditions as six-year olds, when compared with children without sleep problems. Experts at Little Lucy Willowadd – “Sleep keeps you calm, your mind alert, and recharges your body to enable you to get up and face each day.” For that reason, you must try and get your child into a good bedtime routine from a young age. Here are some top tips to help your child sleep better:
Create an ideal sleeping space by providing a comfortable bed, installing blackout curtains, and minimising any outdoor noise.
Encourage your child not to use electronics like smartphones before bed.
Get your child into a consistent routine where they go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Try to keep this the same on school days and weekends.
Make sure that your child avoids any caffeine in the afternoon or evenings.
Visit your GP if your child has been experiencing sleep problems for more than two weeks, or if the symptoms are interfering with their daily life.
Exercise as a family
Exercise plays an important role in a child’s overall health. Along with the physical benefits, regular exercise can greatly improve mental wellbeing. This is because physical activity releases endorphins in the brain which creates feelings of happiness and alleviates stress and anxiety. According to advice on the NHS website, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.
To give you an idea, examples of moderate intensity exercise include walking to school, riding a bicycle, and playground activities. Exercising as a family is an excellent way to encourage your child to be active. It also allows you to spend quality time together as a family and build closer bonds. Playing games in the garden, going for a walk in the park, or going on a bike ride, are all fun ways to exercise together as a family. You could also encourage your child to start playing a team sport they’re interested in, such as football, rugby, or hockey.
Encourage open communication
You must create a welcoming family environment that is built around trust and understanding. This will help your child feel comfortable telling you about any issues surrounding their mental health. Encourage open communication in your family and make sure you check on your child if you notice any changes in their behaviour i.e. they become distant or their eating habits change.
Remember that children tell people how they are feeling in several ways, not always verbally. A sudden change in behaviour may signal that your child is struggling and needs support. Always listen to your child and empathise with their feelings. Let them know that it’s natural to feel down from time to time and offer support in any way you can.
If you’re still worried about your child’s mental health, then speak with your GP or contact a mental health specialist for further advice.
Mental health illnesses in children are becoming increasingly common and can lead to several serious long-term effects. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to care for your child’s mental health. Encouraging healthy habits is a simple yet effective way to improve your child’s mental well-being. This should include exercising regularly, getting enough quality sleep, and following a nutritious diet. Along with this, you should also educate yourself on the symptoms of common mental health conditions in children and create a warm, trusting home environment that encourages open communication. Speak to a medical professional if you need to.
This guest blog was written by professional writer Chloe Walker.
About one-in-five children in the United States live with an unmarried parent; a percentage that has more than doubled since the late 1960’s and one that is slowly on the rise. While many people have children with the idea, and hope, that they will raise their kids alongside their partner, there are some situations in which parenting becomes a party of one. Whether the reason be due to the death of a spouse/partner, divorce, or in some cases, abandonment, the transition to taking over the job alone can be challenging.
There are many stressors that can be faced by single parents, including:
Visitation and custody problems
Continuing conflict between the parents
The grief of losing a spouse or partner
Effects of the breakup or loss on the child’s peer relations
Less opportunity for the parents and children to spend time together
Potential problems when entering new relationships
The increase in daily stressors can not only negatively impact the family relationships, but it can also cause an increased level of stress and anxiety on the parent that is now learning to navigate the new territory of single parenting.
The fear of the unknown, the stress of trial and error and the anxiety about what the future holds can make the transition into single parenting emotionally stressful. While you may feel as if you are entering into a world full of the unknown, there are some ways you can aid in coping with the stress and anxiety that this major change can bring.
Find Sources of Support
Maintaining positive support systems will be a crucial part in transitioning to a single parent household. While many parents may feel as if they have something to prove by showing that they can handle the change on their own, they are likely to feel deeper effects of the stress if they choose to not accept the help of others. Welcome the help of your family and friends with open arms and don’t be afraid to vocalize when you feel like you need assistance. Whether that be asking a family member to help out while you run a few errands or taking the time to talk about your feelings with a close friend on your drive home from work; realizing you have the support of other people and utilizing that will help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety.
There are also other forms of support available should you be interested in seeking them out. Finding a support group for single parents will allow you to find others who are in your same situation and understand the struggles, allowing you to build a friendship based on commonalities. Not only will this support group be good for you, but it will also assist in bringing other children into your child’s life that they can play with and learn from!
Take Time for Yourself
While becoming a single parent may give you the illusion that you no longer have time for yourself, it is important that you do make personal time a priority. Time spent away from your children is actually good for you and them. As parents, we constantly feel the need to put our children’s needs above ours; however, taking a little bit of time for ourselves occasionally is a healthy desire and can have a positive impact on our overall mental health. These don’t have to be costly, extravagant gestures. Here are a few simple ideas of things that you can do for yourself as a single parent:
Indulge in a good book – set aside some time for yourself each night to escape into a completely different world by indulging in a book that interests you, inspires you and teaches you.
Take a hot bath – there’s nothing nearly as relaxing as a long, hot bath at the end of a stressful day. Consider adding essential oilsto your bathor using a bath bomb to really get yourself feeling calm and relaxed. Both of which are commonly used to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Plan a dinner with friends – part of maintaining yourself is keeping a social life. Adult interaction is well-deserved after a day spent at home with the kids. Feeling like you have someone you can talk to who understands and relates to you is helpful in opening up about any stressors or anxiety you are currently feeling and need to get some advice on.
Sticking to a daily routine will keep the structure and will help you and your children feel more secure. While things don’t always go according to plan, maintaining a schedule is a healthy way to set expectations for your family. Focus on scheduling meals, chores and bedtimes at regular times – especially during the week days with school and work. Keeping discipline consistent across families that have divorced or separated parents is also a suggested way to remain consistent. Children that rotate between each of their parent’s houses likely experience a lot of inconsistency between schedules and routine; so, agreeing to discipline the children the same way will bring about some level of familiarity across each home.
Much like many other times in life, learning to take on a new role and live a new kind of lifestyle can be anxiety and stress-inducing. The major change of becoming a single-parent can impact everyone in the family, so it is important to ensure efforts are made to make the transition a little bit smoother for everyone. As the parent, we will likely be affected in many different areas i.e. financial status, relationships, routine, schedule and workload, which is likely to make the stress and anxiety almost overpowering.
Welcoming the support of friends and family, making time for yourself and sticking to a routine are all natural and healthy ways to cope with the adjustment. The stress and anxiety that come along with change are common, but ensuring you take steps to aid them will benefit you, your family and your mental health in the long run.
Guest blog written by Emerson Blake, Freelance writer from USA
Tomorrow, join in and learn what you can about bipolar disorder.
As many of you know, I have bipolar 1 disorder and when not on medication, have episodes of high mood- mania/ psychosis and low mood- severe depression. Thankfully I am in recovery but it affects so many people and is thought to run in families.