Monday, August 1, 2011

Mood Disorders: making a difference

I was reminded of how each of us can have an impact for good on anothers life, following a phone call I received the other day.

A young man, whom I have known for a long time has struggled for years with a mood disorder: but he has made enormous strides in helping himself by acknowledging that he does have a problem, by seeking professional help AND taking that advice: albeit, as with most mood disorders, the individuals journey is often a roller-coaster of "one step forward, two steps back" and "two steps forward and one step back"!

When we last met, he was almost obsessively reading about his condition and attending meetings that ... discussed his condition! Now, information may be power, but obsession can lead to isolation, so I made a casual remark that it might be a good idea for him to do some regular physical exercise, as there is no doubt that physical activity can have an excellent impact on mood disorder. I also gave him a book on the siege of Lenningrad, - which was a bit "tongue in cheek", to illustrate how relative  the difficulties of life really are!!

I forgot all about this conversation as work buried, and life absorbed me, until last night. Out of the blue I got a phone call from this wonderful guy to say that he'd just finished a 22km "Fun run" and was thinking of "doing" a marathon later in the year! "And by the way, I've joined a running club", which was the icing on the cake as it meant that, although he might be obsessing with running now, he was engaged with a group of like minded, health conscious people who from my experience, tend to be pretty well grounded and know how to enjoy themselves as well as running "painfully" long distances.

It just goes to show, that a little encouragement, or some simple positive advice can make a difference: so if the opportunity arises, then dare to be a force for good.
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