My employers are currently running mental health awareness training which I am very wary of as I think I have gone mostly under the radar and prefer to stay that way.
The late "Fish" Jeanmaire and I had many long chats about mental health and cave diving - he tried to encourage me to write something for the CDG Newsletter but I've always felt uneasy about "coming out" to the general caving community. Fish passed away in 2015 so this post is a bit overdue - it took a long time to write given its brevity.
There's a huge amount of stigma around medicating for depression, but this thread gave me the push I needed to ask my GP about it. For me it was a 10 minute phone call with my GP, a short walk to Boots the following day, and a £9.15 prescription charge. It has to be worth a try, Geerbil007? You're not alone, there are a lot of people suffering with you, and more paths to a better future than it might feel like right now. I'm sure you can PM any of us if you'd like to chat more about it in private.
Can you shed any more light on that? [...] If you'd rather not, PM me instead, but it is something I'm intrigued about.
I'm a bit concerned that a ten-minute chat and a prescription is adequate treatment for depression. I have known this to go on for decades with some people, and often people have stayed on meds far longer than was necessary
My experience is that I will be much more able to manage my situation independently when I am back at work and less insular
I think this is key, though I would add that while work is a good distraction to prevent developing or dwelling on negative thoughts, other face to face contact or activities to focus on are possibly even more effective.One of the great things about caving is that it provides complete escapism; it is impossible to focus on anything else once you are underground. For me at least, all other problems melt away and I am entirely absorbed in the here and now of the cave. On exiting the cave, I no longer need to focus on the cave, but my mind is refreshed and I am still in cave mood for several days.
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