Integrate education into recovery

Aaron Gillies is a self-described ‘comedy writer, author, complete idiot’, who is better known by his Twitter alias TechnicallyRon 

When I was diagnosed with depression and severe anxiety I had no idea what it meant.

I didn’t know it was chemical imbalances in my brain. I didn’t know that it was down to misfiring neurotransmitters, I had no idea what an amygdala was, I had never heard the expression fight or flight or the acronym SSRI before. I’ve been through many types of therapy, CBT, mindfulness practices, and the only way I found out about the science behind mental health disorders was from old fashioned research. This wasn’t readily available, as a patient I had to wade into the world of the experts and find out about my condition on my own.

Now, I don’t think everyone who is diagnosed with MH issues is willing to read the DMS-5 from cover to cover, but I would like to see the tools to learn more about how the human brain functions under pressures of depression and other issues, to become more widely available.

As a comedy writer, I often mock my disorders in an attempt to control them and to make them seem smaller than they really are. But with any mental health disorder every day is a taken up by thousands of tiny battles, and after learning more about the science behind mental health, I felt like I had the upper hand, I had a new weapon in my arsenal for these daily tiny battles, and that battle was knowledge.

So my prescription for mental health issues would be for doctors and nurses to provide further reading for patients to learn about the science behind their experience. As famous 20th century philosophical cartoon series G.I Joe said, knowing is half the battle.

Aaron Gillies is a self-described ‘comedy writer, author, complete idiot’. He is an award winning comedy writer who uses Twitter under the name TechnicallyRon and has published Lifeabet, An A-Z of Modern Existence (Blink). Aaron has spoken about mental health matters for Huffington Post, The Telegraph, The Metro and Sky News. In 2016, he co-founded MindTank, a website that lets people share their stories about living with mental health problems.

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