for better mental health

My movie debut....sharing my experience of depression on camera

Sunday, 26 January 2014 Georgina

Mind have made some videos to go alongside their online information and support so that as well as knowing the facts about mental health problems, you can hear about what it’s like from real people. This is my blog on what it was like to be involved…..

So, on Monday I drove to the big smoke to appear in some videos for Mind. One on depression and one on low self-esteem.  I was really quite excited about the prospect of taking part, and up until I actually sat down with the other participants, hadn’t really contemplated that I may in fact be revealing my innermost thoughts on camera, with a group of strangers, for anyone to see!

The lovely Mind people, and production team, gave us some pointers on the general topic areas they wanted to cover, but it was pretty much a free-for-all on what we talked about.  It took a few minutes for us to really get started, but it wasn’t long before we were in full flow, and chatting away to each other as if we’d all met before.  We discussed so many aspects of depression and low self-esteem, from our own experiences, feelings, and treatments, to the stigma still out there in the wider world.  Had it not been for the appearance of lunch we probably could have carried on all day!

What struck me about our session was that despite us all having very different experiences, there were several elements of common ground in our experiences.  I felt this really bonded us, and we quickly established a shared set of thoughts and feelings about our problems, and how we tackle them.

I have found since being diagnosed with depression, that sometimes the smallest (almost throwaway) comment from a friend can have a huge impact and be massively helpful – sometimes one sentence can make something click in your head and help you through your journey.  My hope in being involved with projects such as making the information videos is that someone somewhere them may take something away from it and that something may help them to understand their situation, or help them to deal with what is happening to them.

Going through the process of filming was almost like an informal therapy session – only we were each other’s therapists, and therapists that knew what our patients really meant, because we could identify with each other so strongly.  The following day I must admit to feeling drained, mentally and physically.  But in a good way – I felt as if I’d taken my brain to the gym and had a really good work out!

As much as I can’t wait to share our films around, I’m dreading seeing and hearing myself on film – watching myself is such an abstract thing.  I hate hearing my own voice, so maybe I’ll hit mute when I watch…

All in all I got a huge amount from the day and I hope that I’ve been able to contribute in some small part to the wonderful work the Mind already do.

Watch the video here...

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