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Unfashionable Sadness

It’s incredible to witness the change in the public’s perception of mental health over the last few years. In the UK we are slowly absorbing the mental health mind-set that we see portrayed by the multitude of American media we all encounter on a daily basis. Gone is the good old British ‘stiff upper lip’ and although I’m not sure we will ever be as welcoming to therapy as the American public seem to be, we are as a culture becoming much more open about seeking help with our mental wellbeing.

I’m beginning to see a bit of a trend emerging that I feel is based on our new heightened awareness of mental wellbeing, that is being reinforced by media and celebrity; its unfashionable to be sad. Whilst we British are much better at expressing our emotions, the emotion that I see people sweeping aside as if it’s not allowed is that of sadness. I’m wondering if all this focus and spotlight on emotions means that people feel that embracing mental wellbeing means that they have to be happy all the time?

At the risk of using the word ‘normal’ ……it is ‘normal’ for all of us to cycle through a huge range of emotions on a daily basis including negative ones. If you imagine an axis plotting your mood level with positive numbers being positive emotion and negative numbers being ‘less happy’ emotions, when you join the points up the line will loop up and down. It may be ‘unfashionable’ to feel sad but it is a very ‘normal’ mood state that all of us should feel from time to time.

If you have a think about what your ‘mood chart’ would look like and feel that your line goes below the horizontal axis too often, more often than when you are feeling positive and happy, then treat this as important information. What makes you sad, what are the triggers and what can you do about the triggers to change them? Emotions are there for a reason, use them wisely.

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Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.

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Although I consider myself a confident person, I was really nervous when I met Wendy for the first time. I had only emailed her before so it was really nerve wracking walking up the stairs to her office. I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I have ever done. Wendy is really normal, no in fact she isn’t normal as she is unfailingly bright and smiley even when she has to listen to me moan on about how awful my life was. It feels like having a chat with somebody who just gets you and you can trust with things you have never trusted anybody else with before. The magic bit comes when things you have talked about just pop up into your head and you start to do things differently. Wendy once joked about not having a magic wand, but I think she has.

Paul Hendry

I came to Wendy with a set of problems I have never been able to fully explain to anyone, which included grief, many family issues and alcohol problems. Wendy truly has an active listening style and absorbs everything you are saying, whilst not making you feel analysed, it is an incredible skill. She astounded me at how she got to the crux of the issues so fast. So much so that we both agreed I only needed one session with her, obviously this may not be the case with everyone but I would confidently recommend her to anyone, regardless of your problems. There was no awkwardness or even clock watching, she is wonderful at what she does, take the plunge and make an appointment, you will not regret it. Life is a direction not a destination and she will get you on the path again.

JB

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