[To listen to an audio version of this blog please click here: http://bit.ly/2pwN9a1]
Hands up: who's out?
No, darlings, I couldn't care less about your sexual orientation. I mean, are you out regarding our mutual black dog? What's his name now: Rex, Fido, Hades?
And where is he now? Is he sitting by the back door, waiting to be taken for a walk, just when you need to go out to work? Is he importuning you right at your feet, drooling on your slippers? Is he sitting on your chest, all eight stone of him (50kg), breathing and drooling into your face? Or – has he disappeared for one of his expeditions: you are so glad he has left you for a while, you never ask where he has gone?
(And – all the above with apologies to those of you who own Newfoundland or St Bernard or Pyrenean Mountain dogs and know intimately the wonder of such glorious doggy delights).
My real question is, does your family know about him? Do your work colleagues ask about his health? Does your boss factor him into your work plan?
Yup, thought so. You do your best to hide him away, don't you? Because you are ashamed.
Just consider for a moment, if that black dog were tangible...
Let's consider he has his teeth clamped around your intestines (or, in extreme circumstances, your throat). Let's consider if everyone could see him...
Do you not then consider you might be due some additional consideration? A little more understanding?
As it's #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, are you making people around you more aware?
Do you make them aware of Moodscope?
I mean, if you are reading this, you must find it useful, right?
But, do you tell anyone?
I am frequently shocked by the number of health professionals I come across who have not heard of Moodscope. I sometimes feel I am on a one-woman mission to educate the whole country. I tell everyone (when appropriate, of course). I wax eloquent; I tell them about the daily twenty questions. I show them my graph. I tell them I write the Wednesday blog. I tell them about my buddies and the way buddying works. I tell them the basic Moodscope is absolutely free!
(Okay, so that's when I'm well. When my own black dog sits on me I can't tell anyone about anything.)
Without exception, everyone I speak with is intrigued and enthusiastic. They can immediately see how it could help their patients, their friend, their Uncle Trevor.
And nobody looks at me with that condescending pity we all fear.
It's taken time, but gradually the world is beginning to see that depression is an illness, not a moral weakness.
I won't say it's your duty to come out; it must be your own choice, and you may have your own reasons for staying so far in that closet, you pay your taxes in Narnia.
But to help all those suffering, who do not know about Moodscope, please get the word out.
A Moodscope member.