Let’s Talk About Mental Health
A message from Daniel Laudon:
I would venture to say if you have not been affected by everything that has been going on this year then possibly you have had your head in the sand. I have tried really hard not to use the term “2020” like it’s a negative thing, but let’s be real. Most everyone has been impacted in one way or another by something that has been out of their control this year.
My entire life I have worked extremely hard to create a life that was successful and not out of control. Not in any crazy ways, but little things like getting up every day to go to work. Pushing myself working even when I was sick, doing weekend jobs for extra cash in my younger years to be able to better afford the things I wanted in my life, and providing something for my children I was never able to have while growing up.
How do you respond when you’re watching things happen that are out of your control, that could directly affect everything you have worked so hard for? This summer this has played over and over in my mind and I don’t think I’m alone in this, as I’ve talked to others and my thoughts have been confirmed.
Being a numbers guy, I like statistics because they don’t lie (I suppose that depends where you get them from). My studies found there has been a tremendous increase in suicides recently (it's hard to find exact numbers but one report shows increases up to 145%), and per the CDC depression has tripled in adults during this year.
By writing this I am in no way insinuating that I am a hero or have won the battle, but I want to relay if your mind is playing games you have never experienced, you have fears, or you’re battling depression, you’re not alone.
This spring I went through one of the darkest times of my life. I believe I truly was depressed. It wasn’t until I started coming out of this extreme dark state that I realized how depressed I had been! It affected my relationships, my work, and my family. I lost weight and it had affected my health. I’m not a psychologist by any means and I don’t want to make anyone think I’m a person of authority. I am just sharing my experience, some of the steps I took and continue to take every day to once again win at life. (There are professionals available, if you need a professional, there is no shame in finding one today. If you are suicidal call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255). My hope is that none reading are to that point, but maybe you are fighting an even worse battle.
Here are some of the steps I took, they have been helping me overcome this situation.
#1. I found myself some friends. At first, I didn’t even know where to look, but I made a choice to find some people and started actively looking. Sound funny?! Well, it was worth it ultimately, I found a couple of different groups. The people in the groups I joined had the same interests and were dealing with some of the same things I was. For me, one of the first things depression had told me was, I was the only one dealing with this.
#2. I made plans for something I could look forward to doing! A camping trip with some of my new friends and a fishing trip I take with my buddy every year became something in the future I could focus on.
#3. Acknowledge the fact that I couldn’t really control the future (which was my biggest fear). I started actively preparing my mind to be ready for anything. While working towards creating a life of happiness and success we must never forget that life can change on a dime and we have to be just as prepared for life changes.
#4. I volunteered and started getting involved in making other peoples’ lives better. I made even more friends while helping paint a handicapped person’s house.
#5. I started working out... This is easier if you’re training for something. For me, it was my fishing trip. I knew there was going to be a lot of walking and wading, and both are very taxing.
#6. I cut back on listening to negative news. I started listening to news from people that were more aligned to my beliefs and were actively fighting to make a difference.
The most important is the decision, I will win, and I will be in control of my mind! It’s one of the few things you can really control!