The Muggle’s Guide to Dementor Defence is based on my experience with mental health issues. Posts like this are more personal than, for example, my recent post about sleep and insomnia, but I hope to include some helpful advice as well as telling my story.
I struggled with many things when I was suffering from depression and anxiety, including issues surrounding my career, my relationships, my social life… It’s too much to talk about all at once, so I want to break it down and focus on one thing at a time. The following is based on notes that I made during therapy and is the story of not only what happened but how I came to terms with it.
Long before the events that triggered my mental health issues, I lost my faith. I didn’t really miss it at the time, but when I was depressed, I felt like I had lost a part of myself. It took some time – and a lot of soul-searching – to realise what the problem actually was.
Last year, I wrote a short story for a competition by Mind, the mental health charity. The story, ‘The Journey’, was shortlisted but didn’t win any of the top prizes. Given that I wrote the story specifically for the competition, I didn’t really know what else to do with it, so as it’s currently Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, I thought I’d share it here. I’ve tweaked it only slightly and even had a go at illustrating some of it.
The story begins below. For more about how and why I wrote the story, click here.
So, this is the first entry in what I’m calling “A Muggle’s Guide to Dementor Defence”, which is based on my personal battle with mental health problems, my notes from therapy and my own research/experience of trying to live a happier life (for more background on The Guide, click here).
One of the aims for this series is to present some practical advice on a range of mental-health-related subjects and today, I wanted to look at what was, for me, one of the most challenging things to manage; sleep and insomnia.
A while back, I reviewed Sarah Millican’s brilliant book “How To Be Champion“, which was part autobiography, part joke collection and part self-help book. On a similar theme, I’d like to discuss another book I’ve been reading recently; “Happy” by mentalist, illusionist and warlock Derren Brown. Or, to give it it’s full title: “Happy: Why More Or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine”.
For a fair chunk of the last decade, I have been battling with a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and insomnia. I suffered on and off for almost seven years before finally getting the help I needed to turn my life around. While I was in therapy, I made a lot of notes and now I’m trying to turn those notes into something useful. “A Muggle’s Guide to Dementor Defence” will be a series of blog posts that will, if nothing else, help me to organise my thoughts, but hopefully some of this will be helpful to any of you who are going through similar things.
But first, I wanted to explain how this all came about.
I recently submitted a story called ‘The Journey’ to an online competition. As it was Mental Health Awareness Week recently – and the competition was run by Mind, the mental health charity – I wanted to talk a bit about the story and how I came to write it.
EDIT: You can now read the story here.
One of the things that I wanted to talk about on this blog is mental health. Specifically, I want to share my own experiences and some of the things that helped me with my recovery and continue to help me to be in my day-to-day life. In this post, I want to talk about one handy piece of advice from British comedian Sarah Millican…