Hello, I’m Melanie Dales, a qualified and experienced psychotherapeutic counsellor and I work with FG Factor through its partnership with The Therapy Temple.
I hope you are all safe and well, and that this year has been as kind to you as it could have possibly been!
It has of course been a roller coaster journey for us all, but I very much hope that 2021 ends on a high point, and that we are able to flow into 2022 with a degree of hope and enthusiasm!
The founder of FG Factor, Connor Smith has invited me to share with you some of the areas of my work that have been most prevalent within my practice.
Sadly, one of the areas that has stood out for me this past month has been the issue of suicide, and the very deep depression that more often than not precedes it. I realise that this may seem a strange topic to cover in the run up to Christmas, but I do feel that we need to be aware of the signs that our friends and family may not be in a good place.
Christmas is traditionally seen as a time of much joy and excitement, an opportunity to share in celebrations with our nearest and dearest. Thankfully, for many it is, but before we simply assume that those around us are as emotionally well as they appear to be, please do look out for the behaviours that might be indicators that someone close to us is in trouble.
All too often we like to believe that if there is a problem, and someone is suffering, they will reach out to us, but tragically, when the going gets really tough, the greater majority will withdraw and endeavour to ‘go it alone’! This is exactly what leads us to feeling so helpless, and so out of control, that the only apparent answer is to end it all, and take our own life.
I am asking you all to be alert to the following patterns of behaviour that may be silent cries for help:
• Crying more often than usual, low mood, and a lack of enthusiasm.
• Angry outbursts and irritable behaviour.
• Disrupted sleeping patterns.
• Sleeping for much longer periods than is usual for them.
• Changes in appetite.
• Excessive use of alcohol or drugs.
• Poor communication and withdrawal from family and friends, appearing vacant.
• Lack of motivation to exercise or carry out even the smallest of everyday tasks.
• Loss of libido.
• Loss of interest/pleasure in once loved hobbies and activities.
• Diminished confidence or low self-esteem.
Please know that not ALL of these symptoms will necessarily be evident, and even just one or two of these behaviours may warrant potential cause for concern.
Let us all step up to the mark, and do our bit to make this coming Christmas a more peaceful one for those who are in emotional turmoil.
Take the time to reach out if you become aware of behavioural changes. Show kindness, show patience, give the person the opportunity to share their difficulties, and above all, LISTEN to them, because it might literally save their life!
I am wishing you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas!
IMPORTANT: If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by the issues or symptoms mentioned in Melanie’s blog it is important to tell someone.
The NHS have provided a list of organisations if you need help and support right now. You, or anyone you know, do not have to struggle with difficult feelings alone.