If you live in the UK you can’t have failed to notice that our summer time isn’t doing so great at the moment. As I’m writing we’ve endured battering winds and almost constant rain all day, and it doesn’t look like tomorrow is going to be any better. Why am I giving you a weather update? Because for me, and for many others out there the weather can have a huge impact on their mental health. I know that for years now I’ve always found everything a little harder when the weather is bleak and miserable.
My depression is something I’ve lived and worked through since I was in my teens. I’ve written about it a lot and I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to reach out and help others get through the tough times. When I talk about the weather it doesn’t mean that when it’s warm and sunny I don’t get depressed, but there’s the choice to try and take a little walk and go outside, or even just open a window if that’s too much. Also, it’s known that sunshine is incredibly good for people with depression and the chemicals in your brain.
When it’s raining, windy and cold it’s easy to let the darkness overcome you. When you are struggling to get out of bed in the morning, it’s dark and howling a person who isn’t depressed isn’t that keen on getting up, when you have depression it can feel impossible. With the changes in weather it can be exhausting for someone with a mental illness, I know it is for me.
While it doesn’t mean that this weekend I’ll be on a huge low (because they come and go depending on a lot of things) it does mean that if someone you love is a little off or struggling a little more it might not be you, it might be as simple as a change in the weather making things a little more difficult. Having a mental illness isn’t easy, but educating people and having them understand makes it a lot more bearable.